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Human Capital in Growth Regressions: How Much Difference Does Data Quality Make? An Update and Further Results

  • de la Fuente, Angel
  • Doménech, Rafael

We construct estimates of educational attainment for a sample of OECD countries using previously unexploited sources. We follow a heuristic approach to obtain plausible time profiles for attainment levels by removing sharp breaks in the data that seem to reflect changes in classification criteria. We then construct indicators of the information content of our series and a number of previously available data sets and examine their performance in several growth specifications. We find a clear positive correlation between data quality and the size and significance of human capital coefficients in growth regressions. Using an extension of the classical errors in variables model, we construct a set of meta-estimates of the coefficient of years of schooling in an aggregate Cobb-Douglas production function. Our results suggest that, after correcting for measurement error bias, the value of this parameter is well above 0.50.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3587.

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Date of creation: Oct 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3587
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  1. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 1994. "The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
  2. Daniel Cohen & Marcelo Soto, 2007. "Growth and human capital: good data, good results," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 51-76, March.
  3. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-63, July.
  4. Francesco Caselli & Gerardo Esquivel & Fernando Lefort, 1997. "Reopening the Convergence Debate: A New Look at Cross-Country Growth Empirics," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 03, Central Bank of Chile.
  5. de la Fuente, Angel, 1996. "On the Sources of Convergence: A Close Look at the Spanish Regions," CEPR Discussion Papers 1543, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 1993. "International Comparisons of Educational Attainment," NBER Working Papers 4349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lee, Jong-Wha & Barro, Robert J, 2001. "Schooling Quality in a Cross-Section of Countries," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(272), pages 465-88, November.
  8. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
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  10. Hilary Steedman, 1996. "Measuring the Quality of Educational Outputs: A Note," CEP Discussion Papers dp0302, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  11. Alan Krueger & Mikael Lindahl, 2000. "Education for Growth: Why and For Whom?," Working Papers 808, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  12. Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Where has all the education gone?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1581, The World Bank.
  13. Nehru, Vikram & Swanson, Eric & Dubey, Ashutosh, 1995. "A new database on human capital stock in developing and industrial countries: Sources, methodology, and results," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 379-401, April.
  14. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
  15. Malcolm D. Knight & Delano Villanueva & Norman Loayza, 1992. "Testing the Neoclassical Theory of Economic Growth; A Panel Data Approach," IMF Working Papers 92/106, International Monetary Fund.
  16. Hamilton, James D. & Monteagudo, Josefina, 1998. "The augmented Solow model and the productivity slowdown," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 495-509, October.
  17. Zvi Griliches, 1980. "R&D and the Productivity Slowdown," NBER Working Papers 0434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Griliches, Zvi, 1986. "Economic data issues," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 25, pages 1465-1514 Elsevier.
  19. Kyriacou, George A., 1991. "Level and Growth Effects of Human Capital: A Cross-Country Study of the Convergence Hypothesis," Working Papers 91-26, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  20. Lau, Lawrence J. & Jamison, Dean T. & Louat, Frederic F., 1991. "Education and productivity in developing countries : an aggregate production function approach," Policy Research Working Paper Series 612, The World Bank.
  21. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong Wha, 1996. "International Measures of Schooling Years and Schooling Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 218-23, May.
  22. Jonathan R. W. Temple, 1998. "Robustness tests of the augmented Solow model," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(4), pages 361-375.
  23. Behrman, Jere R. & Rosenzweig, Mark R., 1994. "Caveat emptor: Cross-country data on education and the labor force," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 147-171, June.
  24. Islam, Nazrul, 1995. "Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(4), pages 1127-70, November.
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