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

Human Capital In China

  • Haizheng Li
  • Barbara M. Fraumeni
  • Zhiqiang Liu
  • Xiaojun Wang

In this paper we estimate China's human capital stock from 1985 to 2007 based on the Jorgenson-Fraumeni lifetime income approach. An individual's human capital stock is equal to the discounted present value of all future incomes he or she can generate. In our model, human capital accumulates through formal education as well as on-the-job training. The value of human capital is assumed to be zero upon reaching the mandatory retirement ages. China's total real human capital increased from 26.98 billion yuan in 1985 (i.e., the base year) to 118.75 billion yuan in 2007, implying an average annual growth rate of 6.78%. The annual growth rate increased from 5.11% during 1985-1994 to 7.86% during 1995-2007. Per capita real human capital increased from 28,044 yuan in 1985 to 106,462 yuan in 2007, implying an average annual growth rate of 6.25%. The annual growth rate also increased from 3.9% during 1985-1994 to 7.5% during 1995-2007. Therefore, although population growth contributed significantly to the total human capital accumulation before 1994, per capita human capital growth was primary driving force after 1995. The substantial increase in educational attainment during 1985-2007 contributed significantly to the growth in total and per capita real human capital.

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 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15500.

in new window

Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as “Human Capital in China, 1985-2008,” with Haizheng Li, Yunling Liang, Zhiqiang Liu, and Xiaojun Wang, Review of Income and Wealth , volume 59, issue 2, June 2013, pp. 212-234.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15500
Note: LS PR
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
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. Trinh Le & John Gibson & Les Oxley, 2005. "Measures of human capital: A review of the literature," Treasury Working Paper Series 05/10, New Zealand Treasury.
  2. Yang, Dennis Tao, 2005. "Determinants of schooling returns during transition: Evidence from Chinese cities," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 244-264, June.
  3. Dale W. Jorgenson & Barbara M. Fraumeni, 1992. "The Output of the Education Sector," NBER Chapters, in: Output Measurement in the Service Sectors, pages 303-341 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Liu, Zhiqiang, 1998. "Earnings, Education, and Economic Reforms in Urban China," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(4), pages 697-725, July.
  5. Fleisher, Belton M. & Li, Haizheng & Zhao, Min Qiang, 2008. "Human Capital, Economic Growth, and Regional Inequality in China," IZA Discussion Papers 3576, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Li, Haizheng, 2003. "Economic transition and returns to education in China," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 317-328, June.
  7. Carsten A. Holz, 2005. "New Capital Estimates for China," Development and Comp Systems 0504011, EconWPA.
  8. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1995. "A Labor-Income-Based Measure of the Value of Human Capital: An Application to the States of the United States," NBER Working Papers 5018, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Ahlroth, Sofia & Bjorklund, Anders & Forslund, Anders, 1997. "The Output of the Swedish Education Sector," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 43(1), pages 89-104, March.
  10. Alan Krueger & Orley Ashenfelter, 1992. "Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling from a New Sample of Twins," NBER Working Papers 4143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Fleisher, Belton M. & Peter, Klara Sabirianova & Wang, Xiaojun, 2004. "Returns to Skills and the Speed of Reforms: Evidence from Central and Eastern Europe, China, and Russia," IZA Discussion Papers 1182, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Trinh Le & John Gibson & Les Oxley, 2003. "Cost- and Income-based Measures of Human Capital," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 271-307, 07.
  13. Heckman, James J., 2005. "China's human capital investment," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 50-70.
  14. Van Trinh, Le Thi & Gibson, John & Oxley, Les, 2005. "Measuring the stock of human capital in New Zealand," Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (MATCOM), Elsevier, vol. 68(5), pages 484-497.
  15. Mireille Laroche & Marcel Mérette, . "Measuring Human Capital in Canada," Working Papers-Department of Finance Canada 2000-05, Department of Finance Canada.
  16. Jorgenson, Dale W & Fraumeni, Barbara M, 1992. " Investment in Education and U.S. Economic Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 94(0), pages S51-70, Supplemen.
  17. Liu, Zhiqiang, 2007. "The external returns to education: Evidence from Chinese cities," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 542-564, May.
  18. Fleisher, Belton M. & Wang, Xiaojun, 2004. "Skill differentials, return to schooling, and market segmentation in a transition economy: the case of Mainland China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 315-328, February.
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:nbr:nberwo:15500. 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.