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Human Capital Accumulation at Work: Estimates for the World and Implications for Development

Author

Listed:
  • Remi Jedwab

    (George Washington University)

  • Asif Islam

    (World Bank)

  • Paul Romer

    (New York University)

  • Robert Samaniego

    (George Washington University)

Abstract

In this paper, we: (i) study wage-experience profiles and obtain measures of returns to potential work experience using data from about 24 million individuals in 1,084 household surveys and census samples across 145 countries; (ii) show that returns to work experience are strongly correlated with economic development - workers in developed countries appear to accumulate twice more human capital at work than workers in developing countries; and (iii) use a simple accounting framework to find that the contribution of work experience to human capital accumulation and economic development might be as important as the contribution of education itself.

Suggested Citation

  • Remi Jedwab & Asif Islam & Paul Romer & Robert Samaniego, 2020. "Human Capital Accumulation at Work: Estimates for the World and Implications for Development," Working Papers 2020-3, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:gwi:wpaper:2020-3
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    Cited by:

    1. Bart van Ark & Dirk Pilat & Klaas de Vries, 2023. "Are Pro-Productivity Policies Fit for Purpose? Productivity Drivers and Policies in G-20 Economies," Working Papers 038, The Productivity Institute.
    2. Chernina, Eugenia & Gimpelson, Vladimir, 2022. "Do Wages Grow with Experience? Deciphering the Russian Puzzle," IZA Discussion Papers 15068, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Remi Jedwab & Paul Romer & Asif M. Islam & Roberto Samaniego, 2023. "Human Capital Accumulation at Work: Estimates for the World and Implications for Development," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 15(3), pages 191-223, July.
    4. Chernina, Eugenia & Gimpelson, Vladimir, 2023. "Do wages grow with experience? Deciphering the Russian puzzle," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 545-563.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Returns to Work Experience; Returns to Education; Human Capital Accumulation; Economic Development; Labor Markets; Development Accounting;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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