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L’immatérielle richesse des nations

  • Thomas Melonio

    (Agence Française de Développement)

  • Xavier Timbeau

    (OFCE)

Le capital humain joue un rôle croissant dans les économies modernes, incitant les nations à y consacrer une part croissante de leur PIB. Les dépenses publiques d’éducation constituent pour les États un investissement, puisqu’elles sont sources, à terme, de croissance économique et de recettes fiscales. L’investissement public en éducation devrait donc donner lieu à la constitution d’un actif. Ce n’est aujourd’hui pas le cas. Cet article tente d’y remédier et propose deux méthodes d’évaluation du capital éducatif français depuis les années 1970. La première approche s’inspire de la comptabilité traditionnelle des entreprises : l’actif éducatif est valorisé en fonction du coût de sa constitution, et se déprécie au cours du temps. La seconde méthode assimile l’État à un optimisateur fiscal et valorise le capital éducatif par les flux futurs anticipés de recettes fiscales. Dans les deux cas, nous constatons une forte augmentation du capital éducatif français depuis le début des années 1970, d’environ 60 points de PIB, pour culminer autour de 140 points de PIB au début des années 2000. Ceci s’explique avant tout par la progression du niveau des diplômes, mais aussi par l’accroissement de la taille moyenne des cohortes. En projection, nous estimons que ce stock a atteint un plafond, et devrait progresser modestement dans les vingt prochaines années avant de décliner sous l’effet du rétrécissement de la taille des cohortes et de la stagnation observée du niveau des diplômes.

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Date of creation: Apr 2006
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Publication status: Published in Revue de l'OFCE, 2006
Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/1754
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