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Technological Change, Investment in Human Capital, and Economic Growth

  • Yong Jin Kim
  • Jong-Wha Lee

This paper presents a theoretical model to analyze the effects of technology change on growth rates of income and human capital. We set up an overlapping generations model in which young agents invest in both width and depth of human capital in order to adopt new technologies. The model develops explicitly the micro-mechanism of the role of human capital in adopting new technologies as well as that of the process of human capital production. In our model an increase in the technology uncertainty decreases growth rates of income and human capital by lowering efficiencies both in creating new knowledge and in adopting new technologies. We also show that, depending on the initial structure of human capital and the uncertainty about the nature of new technologies, an economy can have multiple growth paths. Hence, increased inflows of new technologies with more uncertain characteristics may affect human capital accumulation and income growth adversely, leading the economy to a low growth trap. Keywords: education, endogenous growth, human capital investment, technology adoption.

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Paper provided by Center for International Development at Harvard University in its series CID Working Papers with number 29.

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Date of creation: Nov 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wop:cidhav:29
Contact details of provider: Postal: Center for International Development at Harvard University (CID). 79 John F. Kennedy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.
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  1. Parente Stephen L., 1994. "Technology Adoption, Learning-by-Doing, and Economic Growth," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 346-369, August.
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  6. Francisco Rodriguez & Dani Rodrik, 2001. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Skeptic's Guide to the Cross-National Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 261-338 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. David Autor & Lawrence Katz & Alan Krueger, 1997. "Computing Inequality: Have Computers Changed the Labor Market?," Working Papers 756, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  14. Parente, Stephen L & Prescott, Edward C, 1994. "Barriers to Technology Adoption and Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(2), pages 298-321, April.
  15. Nancy L. Stokey, 1990. "Human Capital, Product Quality, and Growth," Discussion Papers 883, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  16. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong Wha, 1996. "International Measures of Schooling Years and Schooling Quality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 218-23, May.
  17. Benhabib, Jess & Spiegel, Mark M., 1994. "The role of human capital in economic development evidence from aggregate cross-country data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(2), pages 143-173, October.
  18. Bartel, Ann P & Sicherman, Nachum, 1998. "Technological Change and the Skill Acquisition of Young Workers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(4), pages 718-55, October.
  19. Paroush, Jacob, 1976. "The risk effect and investment in human capital," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 339-347, December.
  20. Bartel, Ann P & Lichtenberg, Frank R, 1987. "The Comparative Advantage of Educated Workers in Implementing New Technology," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-11, February.
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