On aggregating human capital across heterogeneous cohorts
Based on a general framework for computing the aggregate human capital stock under heterogeneity across population cohorts, the paper derives aggregate human capital stocks in the whole population and in the labor force, and relates these variables to average years of schooling and average work experience. Under the scenarios considered here, the “macro-Mincer” (log-linear) relationship between aggregate human capital and average years of schooling is obtained only in cases which are inconsistent with heterogeneity in years of schooling or based on empirically implausible demographic survival laws. Our numerical results indicate that the macro-Mincer equation can be a reasonable approximation of the true relationship only if returns to schooling and work experience are roughly constant across countries.
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