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The Geographic Distribution of Human Capital: Measurement of Contributing Mechanisms

  • Peter McHenry


    (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary)

This paper investigates how the geographic distribution of human capital evolves over time. With U.S. data, I decompose generation-to-generation changes in local human capital into three factors: the previous generation’s human capital, intergenerational transmission of skills from parents to their children, and migration of the children. I find evidence of regression to the mean of local skills at the state level and divergence at the commuting zone level. Labor market size, climate, local colleges, and taxes affect local skill measures. Skills move from urban to rural labor markets through intergenerational transmission but from rural to urban labor markets through migration.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, College of William and Mary in its series Working Papers with number 92.

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Length: 67 pages
Date of creation: 15 Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cwm:wpaper:92
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