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The "farthest" need the best. Human capital composition and development-specific economic growth

  • Fabio Manca

    ()

    (Faculty of Economics, University of Barcelona)

We provide robust and compelling evidence of the marked impact of tertiary education on the economic growth of less developed countries and of its the relatively smaller impact on the growth of developed ones. Our results argue in favor of the accumulation of high skill levels especially in technologically under-developed countries and, contrary to common wisdom, independently of the fact that these economies might initially produce low(er)-technology goods or perform technology imitation. Our results are robust to the different measures used in proxying human capital and to the adjustments made for cross-country differences in the quality of education. Country-specific institutional quality, as well as other indicators including legal origin, religious fractionalization and openness to trade have been used to control for the robustness of the results. These factors are also shown to speed up technology convergence thereby confirming previous empirical studies. Our estimates tackle problems of endogeneity by adopting a variety of techniques, including instrumental variables (for both panel and cross-section analyses) and the two-step efficient dynamics system GMM.

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File URL: http://www.ub.edu/irea/working_papers/2011/201117.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics in its series IREA Working Papers with number 201117.

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Length: 63 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision: Oct 2011
Handle: RePEc:ira:wpaper:201117
Contact details of provider: Postal: Tinent Coronel Valenzuela, Num 1-11 08034 Barcelona
Web page: http://www.ub.edu/irea/

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  1. Jess Benhabib & Mark M. Spiegel, 2002. "Human capital and technology diffusion," Working Paper Series 2003-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  2. Mansfield, Edwin & Schwartz, Mark & Wagner, Samuel, 1981. "Imitation Costs and Patents: An Empirical Study," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(364), pages 907-18, December.
  3. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 1994. "The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
  4. Aghion, Philippe, et al, 2001. "Competition, Imitation and Growth with Step-by-Step Innovation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(3), pages 467-92, July.
  5. Harris, Christopher & Howitt, Peter & Vickers, John & Aghion, Philippe, 2001. "Competition, Imitation and Growth with Step-by-Step Innovation," Scholarly Articles 12375013, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  6. Michelle P. Connolly & Diego Valderrama, 2005. "North-South technological diffusion and dynamic gains from trade," Working Paper Series 2004-24, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  7. Daron Acemoglu & Philippe Aghion & Fabrizio Zilibotti, 2006. "Distance to Frontier, Selection, and Economic Growth," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(1), pages 37-74, 03.
  8. Manca, Fabio, 2010. "Technology catch-up and the role of institutions," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1041-1053, December.
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