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Knowledge Capital and Aggregate Income Differences: Development Accounting for U.S. States

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  • Eric A. Hanushek
  • Jens Ruhose
  • Ludger Woessmann

Abstract

Improvement in human capital is often presumed important for state economic development, but little research links better education to state incomes. We develop detailed measures of worker skills in each state that incorporate cognitive skills from state- and country-of-origin achievement tests. These new measures of knowledge capital permit development accounting analyses calibrated with standard production parameters. Differences in knowledge capital account for 20-30 percent of the state variation in per-capita GDP, with roughly even contributions by school attainment and cognitive skills. Similar results emerge from growth accounting analyses. These estimates support school improvement as a strategy for state economic development.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric A. Hanushek & Jens Ruhose & Ludger Woessmann, 2015. "Knowledge Capital and Aggregate Income Differences: Development Accounting for U.S. States," NBER Working Papers 21295, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21295
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    1. Knowledge Capital and Aggregate Income Differences: Development Accounting for U.S. States
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2016-09-28 23:33:06

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    17. Campbell, Susanna G. & Üngör, Murat, 2020. "Revisiting human capital and aggregate income differences," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 43-64.
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    JEL classification:

    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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