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Stuck in the middle ? human capital development and economic growth in Malaysia and Thailand

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  • Jimenez, Emmanuel
  • Nguyen, Vy
  • Patrinos, Harry Anthony

Abstract

The challenge of sustaining economic growth over the long term is one that only a few countries have been able to surmount. Slowing momentum in countries like Malaysia and Thailand has led analysts and policy makers to consider what it would take to lift them out of middle-income status, where other countries have arguably become stuck. The paper examines the role of human capital formation in the quest to sustain economic growth in these two countries. It argues that a good education system is fundamental to equip workers with marketable skills. Malaysia and Thailand have successfully expanded access to schooling, but the quality of education remains an issue. Modern education systems should aim to provide universally-available quality education using the following policies: prioritize budgets to deliver quality and universally-available basic education before expanding higher levels of schooling; provide appropriate incentives and rewards to teachers; permit school autonomy and ensure accountability for results; invest in early childhood development; and consider implementing income-contingent loan financing schemes to expand higher education.

Suggested Citation

  • Jimenez, Emmanuel & Nguyen, Vy & Patrinos, Harry Anthony, 2012. "Stuck in the middle ? human capital development and economic growth in Malaysia and Thailand," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6283, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6283
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Rafi Amir-ud-Din & Muhammad Usman & Faisal Abbas & Sajid Amin Javed, 2019. "Human versus physical capital: issues of accumulation, interaction and endogeneity," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 52(4), pages 351-382, November.
    2. Linda Glawe & Helmut Wagner, 2016. "The Middle-Income Trap: Definitions, Theories and Countries Concerned—A Literature Survey," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 58(4), pages 507-538, December.
    3. Razafimandimby Andrianjaka, Riana & Rougier, Eric, 2019. "“What difference does it make (to be in the Middle Income Trap)?”: An empirical exploration of the drivers of growth slowdowns," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 225-236.
    4. Agénor, Pierre-Richard & Canuto, Otaviano, 2017. "Access to finance, product innovation and middle-income traps," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 337-355.
    5. Samudhram, Ananda & Stewart, Errol & Wickramanayake, Jayasinghe & Sinnakkannu, Jothee, 2014. "Value relevance of human capital based disclosures: Moderating effects of labor productivity, investor sentiment, analyst coverage and audit quality," Advances in accounting, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 338-353.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Education For All; Primary Education; Access&Equity in Basic Education; Teaching and Learning; Tertiary Education;
    All these keywords.

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