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Cognitive Skills, Schooling Attainment, and Schooling Resources: What Drives Economic Growth?


  • Theodore Breton


This paper presents evidence that students´ test scores at ages 9 to 15 are not a good proxy for a nation´s stock of human capital. Across countries test scores rise with increases in human capital up to $40,000/adult (2000$), but then decline as human capital increases up to $125,000/adult. Schooling attainment is a better proxy for the human capital stock than test scores, but it is not very useful for statistical analysis because it is not a precise measure. The nation´s stock of human capital, calculated from cumulative investment in schooling, is the schooling measure most correlated with national income.

Suggested Citation

  • Theodore Breton, 2009. "Cognitive Skills, Schooling Attainment, and Schooling Resources: What Drives Economic Growth?," Documentos de Trabajo de Valor Público 10617, Universidad EAFIT.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000122:010617

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    Cognitive Skills; Human Capital; Education; Schooling; Economic Growth;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration


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