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Literacy, Human Capital and Growth

Author

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  • Serge Coulombe

    () (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa)

  • Jean-François Tremblay

    () (Department of Economics, University of Ottawa)

Abstract

We derive synthetic time series over the 1960-1995 period on the literacy level of labor market entrants from the demographic profile of the 1994 International Adult Literacy Survey. This information is then used as a measure of investment in education in a two-way error correction panel data analysis of cross-country growth for a set of 14 OECD countries. The central result of the paper is that direct measures of human capital based on literacy scores outperform measures based on years of schooling in growth regressions. The results indicate that, overall, human capital indicators based on literacy scores have a positive and significant effect on the transitory growth path, and on the long run levels of GDP per capita and labor productivity.

Suggested Citation

  • Serge Coulombe & Jean-François Tremblay, 2004. "Literacy, Human Capital and Growth," Working Papers 0407E, University of Ottawa, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ott:wpaper:0407e
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    File URL: http://sciencessociales.uottawa.ca/economics/sites/socialsciences.uottawa.ca.economics/files/0407E.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Woessmann, 2011. "How much do educational outcomes matter in OECD countries?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 26(67), pages 427-491, July.
    2. Docquier, Frederic & Paddison, Oliver & Pestieau, Pierre, 2007. "Optimal accumulation in an endogenous growth setting with human capital," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, pages 361-378.
    3. Hanushek, Eric A. & Woessmann, Ludger, 2011. "The Economics of International Differences in Educational Achievement," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    4. Eric A. Hanushek & Victor Lavy & Kohtaro Hitomi, 2008. "Do Students Care about School Quality? Determinants of Dropout Behavior in Developing Countries," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, pages 69-105.
    5. Eric A. Hanushek & Victor Lavy & Kohtaro Hitomi, 2008. "Do Students Care about School Quality? Determinants of Dropout Behavior in Developing Countries," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, pages 69-105.
    6. Audra J. Bowlus & Chris Robinson, 2005. "The Contribution of Post-Secondary Education to Human Capital Stocks in Canada and the United States," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20051, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
    7. Andrew Sharpe, 2007. "Lessons for Canada from International Productivity Experience," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 14, pages 20-37, Spring.
    8. Andrew Jackson, 2005. "Productivity and Building Human Capital for the "Bottom Third"," International Productivity Monitor, Centre for the Study of Living Standards, vol. 11, pages 7-13, Fall.
    9. Audra J. Bowlus & Haoming Liu & Chris Robinson, 2005. "Human Capital, Productivity and Growth," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20052, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
    10. Benoit Dostie & Marie-Pierre Pelletier, 2007. "Les rendements de la formation en entreprise," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 33(1), pages 21-40, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Human capital; growth regressions; convergence; gender gap; literacy;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General
    • O57 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Comparative Studies of Countries

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