Human Capital, Schooling and Health Returns
A consensus has been forged in the last decade that recent periods of sustained growth in total factor productivity and reduced poverty are closely associated with improvements in a population's child nutrition, adult health, and schooling, particularly in low-income countries. Estimates of the productive returns from these three forms of human capital investment are nonetheless qualified by a number of limitations in our data and analytical methods. This paper reviews the problems that occupy researchers in this field and summarizes accumulating evidence of empirical regularities. Social experiments must be designed to assess how randomized policy interventions motivate families and individuals to invest in human capital, and then measure the changed wage opportunities of those who have been induced to make these investments.
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