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Experience Matters: Human Capital and Development Accounting

Author

Listed:
  • David Lagakos
  • Benjamin Moll
  • Tommaso Porzio
  • Nancy Qian
  • Todd Schoellman

Abstract

We use international household-survey data to document that experience-wage profiles are flatter in poorer countries than in richer countries. We find a quantitatively similar pattern when we estimate returns to foreign experience by country of origin among U.S. immigrants. The most likely explanation for both findings is that workers accumulate less human capital from experience in poorer countries. Taking this into consideration in development accounting substantially increases the role of human capital in accounting for cross-country income differences.

Suggested Citation

  • David Lagakos & Benjamin Moll & Tommaso Porzio & Nancy Qian & Todd Schoellman, 2012. "Experience Matters: Human Capital and Development Accounting," NBER Working Papers 18602, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18602
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    JEL classification:

    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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