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‘Excellentie voor Productiviteit?’


  • Bert Minne

    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

  • Marieke Rensman

    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

  • Björn Vroomen

    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

  • Dinand Webbink

    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)


This report surveys the recent literature on human capital and productivity. Recent studies suggest that the right-hand side of the skill distribution is important for productivity, especially in countries that already have a high level of productivity. An empirical analysis of the Dutch skill distribution reveals that the Netherlands is not positioned among the best-performing countries at the right-hand side of the distribution. On average, the Dutch skill level is high, but this level is mainly based on the relatively high skill level at the left-hand side of the skill distribution. The Dutch position declines when moving to the right-hand side. At the very highest skill level, the Netherlands is not among the best of the world. This is true for both secondary education and higher education. The Dutch share of graduates from higher education is also not among the highest in the OECD. The findings on the skill distribution are robust for several skill surveys, age groups and over time. This robustness may be the result of the structure of the Dutch educational system. The findings indicate that there is scope for improvement of skills at the right-hand side of the distribution. Therefore, policies that raise the Dutch performance at high- and top skill levels in higher education or in earlier stages of education may improve Dutch productivity. Further research is needed to assess these policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Bert Minne & Marieke Rensman & Björn Vroomen & Dinand Webbink, 2007. "‘Excellentie voor Productiviteit?’," CPB Special Publication 69, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpb:spcial:69

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    Cited by:

    1. Jean Luc De Meulemeester & Claude Diebolt, 2007. "Education et croissance: quel lien pour quelle politique?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13544, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    2. Allen, J.P. & van der Velden, R.K.W., 2012. "Skills for the 21st century: implications for education," Research Memorandum 043, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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