Measuring Human Capital in Japan
This paper measures human capital development in the Japanese workforce after WWII. An increase in workers' years of schooling is believed to have aided Japan's economic growth after WWII. The development of human capital has acquired increasing importance for Japan's future economic growth given its aging population. To quantify these historical and forward-looking contributions of human capital, we construct a dataset that incorporates the distribution of workers' years of schooling by employing data covering workers and students. We transform years of schooling into a measure of human capital by using a nonlinear Mincer-type wage function. We find that workers' average years of schooling increased dramatically during the 1950s and 1960s. While this increase in human capital could explain much of Japan's economic growth during these decades, education policies have limited prospects for contributing to Japan's future economic growth.
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