Literacy, Human Capital and Growth
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.
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