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The costs of education, longevity and the poverty of nations

  • Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti
  • Pessoa, Samuel de Abreu

This paper explores the distortions on the cost of education, associated with government policies and institutional factors, as an additional determinant of cross-country income differences. Agents are finitely lived and the model takes into account life-cycle features of human capital accumulation. There are two sectors, one producing goods and the other providing educational services. The model is calibrated and simulated for 89 economies. We find that human capital taxation has a relevant impact on incomes, which is amplified by its indirect effect on returns to physical capital. Life expectancy plays an important role in determining long-run output: the expansion of the population working life increases the present value of the flow of wages, which induces further human capital investment and raises incomes. Although in our simulations the largest gains are observed when productivity is equated across countries, changes in longevity and in the incentives to educational investment are too relevant to ignore.

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Paper provided by FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil) in its series Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) with number 472.

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Date of creation: 03 Jan 2003
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Handle: RePEc:fgv:epgewp:472
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  1. Mateos-Planas, Xavier, 2000. "Schooling and distortions in a vintage capital model," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0030, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  2. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  3. Psacharopoulos, George, 1993. "Returns to investment in education : a global update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1067, The World Bank.
  4. Alan B. Krueger & Mikael Lindahl, 2000. "Education for Growth: Why and For Whom?," NBER Working Papers 7591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. Stokey, Nancy L & Rebelo, Sergio, 1995. "Growth Effects of Flat-Rate Taxes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 519-50, June.
  7. Parente, Stephen L & Prescott, Edward C, 1994. "Barriers to Technology Adoption and Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 298-321, April.
  8. Stephen L. Parente & Edward C. Prescott, 2002. "Barriers to Riches," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661306, December.
  9. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1995. "The Growth of Nations," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1732, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  10. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. repec:fth:sotoec:0030 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Trostel, Philip A, 1993. "The Effect of Taxation on Human Capital," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 327-50, April.
  13. Charles I. Jones, . "Sources of U.S. Economic Growth in a World of Ideas," Working Papers 98009, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  14. Peter J. Klenow & Mark Bils, 2000. "Does Schooling Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1160-1183, December.
  15. Willis, Robert J., 1987. "Wage determinants: A survey and reinterpretation of human capital earnings functions," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 525-602 Elsevier.
  16. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
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