IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Appropriate Technology, Human Capital and Development Accounting

Over the past decade, research explaining cross country income differences has increasingly pointed to the dominant role of total factor productivity (TFP) gaps as opposed to factor accumulation. Nevertheless, it is a widely held belief that a country’s ability to absorb and implement technologies is tied to its human capital. In this paper, we implement this idea in a novel specification and explore its quantitative implications within a development accounting framework. In our model, intermediate goods production takes place over a range of industries, and relative human capital ratios in a country influence industry specific productivities asymmetrically. As a result, in human capital abundant countries, production is concentrated around industries with high TFP, while in low human capital countries, production is concentrated around industries with low TFP. Development accounting exercises for a range of parameter values suggest that this human capital-technology complementarity may account for eighteen to twenty five percent of differences in GDP per worker which is higher than the combined direct contribution of factors of production.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Department of Economics, Louisiana State University in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 2012-03.

in new window

Date of creation:
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:lsu:lsuwpp:2012-03
Contact details of provider: Postal: Baton Rouge, LA 70803-6306
Fax: 225-578-3807
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Chris Papageorgiou & John Duffy & Fidel Perez-Sebastian, . "Capital-Skill complementarity? Evidence from a Panel of Countries," Departmental Working Papers 2003-12, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  2. Chris Papageorgiou & Viera Chmelarova, . "Nonlinearities in Capital-Skill Complementarity," Departmental Working Papers 2003-07, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
  3. Andres Erosa & Tatyana Koreshkova & Diego Restuccia, 2007. "How Important is Human Capital? A Quantitative Theory Assessment of World Income Inequality," Working Papers tecipa-280, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  4. 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.
  5. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment Updates and Implications," NBER Working Papers 7911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Susanto Basu & David N. Weil, 1996. "Appropriate Technology and Growth," NBER Working Papers 5865, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. R. Dornbusch & S. Fischer & P. A. Samuelson, 1976. "Comparative Advantage, Trade and Payments in a Ricardian Model With a Continuum of Goods," Working papers 178, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  8. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Peter J. Klenow, 2010. "Development Accounting," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 207-23, January.
  9. Atkinson, Anthony B & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1969. "A New View of Technological Change," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 79(315), pages 573-78, September.
  10. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
  11. Francesco Caselli & Wilbur John Coleman II, 2006. "The World Technology Frontier," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 499-522, June.
  12. Acemoglu, Daron & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 1996. "Was Prometheus Unbound by Chance? Risk, Diversification and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 1426, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Areendam Chanda & Carl-Johan Dalgaard, 2003. "Dual Economies and International Total Factor Productivity Differences," EPRU Working Paper Series 03-09, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  14. Armenter, Roc & Lahiri, Amartya, 2012. "Accounting for development through investment prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(6), pages 550-564.
  15. Todd Schoellman, 2012. "Education Quality and Development Accounting," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(1), pages 388-417.
  16. Vollrath, Dietrich, 2009. "How important are dual economy effects for aggregate productivity?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 325-334, March.
  17. Benjamin F. Jones, 2011. "The Human Capital Stock: A Generalized Approach," NBER Working Papers 17487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lsu:lsuwpp:2012-03. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.