IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Generalized Knowledge Index: The Production, and Imputed Gross Future and Present Values of Doctoral Dissertations across Some African Countries


  • Voxi Heinrich S. Amavilah

    (Glendale College & REEPS)


The notion that lack of knowledge undermines the economic performance of African countries is deeply and widely held to be true. Yet evidence for the basis of that truth is few and far in-between. This paper first describes a production function approach to the creation of knowledge of African countries in terms of a relative and indirect measure of the quantity of dissertations. Second, the paper assesses the imputed gross future and present values of knowledge of the same group of countries. In the first instance it finds that relative income, population, and openness to the outside world are central to the production of knowledge of African countries. In the second instance, the imputed gross future and preset values of knowledge are positive, but of modest magnitude. The policy implications of the results recommend more investment in the production of knowledge of African countries, improved trade and therefore openness, and especially reduced opportunity cost of knowledge creation which now differs widely across countries, and averages 10.7%. For further research the results suggest that dissertations may be useful proxies for human capital in economic growth regressions.

Suggested Citation

  • Voxi Heinrich S. Amavilah, 2004. "Generalized Knowledge Index: The Production, and Imputed Gross Future and Present Values of Doctoral Dissertations across Some African Countries," GE, Growth, Math methods 0410007, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpge:0410007
    Note: Type of Document - wpd; pages: 37. Enlarged figures and tables available upon request

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Erhun Kula, 2004. "Estimation of a Social Rate of Interest for India," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(1), pages 91-99, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Lopez, Humberto, 2008. "The social discount rate : estimates for nine Latin American countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4639, The World Bank.
    2. Ferda Halicioglu & Cevat Karatas, 2011. "Estimation of Economic Discounting Rate for Practical Project Appraisal: The Case of Turkey," Journal of Developing Areas, Tennessee State University, College of Business, vol. 45(1), pages 155-166, July-Dece.
    3. Antonio Nesticò & Gabriella Maselli & Patrizia Ghisellini & Sergio Ulgiati, 2023. "A Dual Probabilistic Discounting Approach to Assess Economic and Environmental Impacts," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 85(1), pages 239-265, May.
    4. K. R. Shanmugam, 2011. "Discount Rate for Health Benefits and the Value of Life in India," Working Papers id:4524, eSocialSciences.
    5. Agamoni Majumder & S. Madheswaran, 2022. "Discounting Long-Term Job-Related Health Risks in the Context of Indian Workers," The Indian Journal of Labour Economics, Springer;The Indian Society of Labour Economics (ISLE), vol. 65(4), pages 1099-1120, December.
    6. Vito Frontuto & Silvana Dalmazzone & Francesco Salcuni & Alessandro Pezzoli, 2020. "Risk Aversion, Inequality and Economic Evaluation of Flood Damages: A Case Study in Ecuador," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(23), pages 1-17, December.
    7. Kumar, Shalander & Craufurd, Peter & Haileslassie, Amare & Ramilan, Thiagarajah & Rathore, Abhishek & Whitbread, Anthony, 2019. "Farm typology analysis and technology assessment: An application in an arid region of South Asia," Land Use Policy, Elsevier, vol. 88(C).
    8. Monika Foltyn-Zarychta & Rafał Buła & Krystian Pera, 2021. "Discounting for Energy Transition Policies—Estimation of the Social Discount Rate for Poland," Energies, MDPI, vol. 14(3), pages 1-21, January.
    9. Mareike Schad & Jürgen John, 2012. "Towards a social discount rate for the economic evaluation of health technologies in Germany: an exploratory analysis," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 13(2), pages 127-144, April.
    10. Arian Daneshmand & Esfandiar Jahangard & Mahnoush Abdollah-Milani, 2018. "A time preference measure of the social discount rate for Iran," Journal of Economic Structures, Springer;Pan-Pacific Association of Input-Output Studies (PAPAIOS), vol. 7(1), pages 1-10, December.
    11. Rafał Buła & Monika Foltyn-Zarychta, 2022. "Declining Discount Rates for Energy Policy Investments in CEE EU Member Countries," Energies, MDPI, vol. 16(1), pages 1-27, December.
    12. Ferda Halicioglu & Cevat Karatas, 2013. "A social discount rate for Turkey," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 47(2), pages 1085-1091, February.
    13. David EVANS & Erhun KULA, 2009. "Social discount rates and welfare weights for public investment decisions under budgetary restrictions – the case of Cyprus," Departmental Working Papers 2009-19, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    14. Birthal, Pratap Singh & Nigam, Shyam N. & Narayanan, A.V. & Kareem, K.A., 2012. "Potential Economic Benefits from Adoption of Improved Drought-tolerant Groundnut in India," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 25(1), June.
    15. David J. EVANS, 2006. "Social discount rates for the European Union," Departmental Working Papers 2006-20, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
    16. Akbulut, Hale & Seçilmiş, Erdem, 2019. "Estimation of a social discount rate for Turkey," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 78-85.
    17. Jinchi Dong & Richard S. J. Tol & Fangzhi Wang, 2024. "Towards a representative social cost of carbon," Papers 2404.04989,
    18. Massimo Florio & Emanuela Sirtori, 2013. "The social cost of capital: recent estimates for the EU countries," Working Papers 201303, CSIL Centre for Industrial Studies.
    19. Raúl Castro & Jorge Armando Rueda Gallardo, 2020. "Estimación Empírica de la Tasa Social de Descuento Estudio de Caso Bolivia," Documentos CEDE 18020, Universidad de los Andes, Facultad de Economía, CEDE.
    20. Ramasundaram, P. & Suresh, A. & Samuel, Josily & Wankhade, Shwetal, 2014. "Welfare Gains from Application of First Generation Biotechnology in Indian Agriculture: The Case of Bt Cotton," Agricultural Economics Research Review, Agricultural Economics Research Association (India), vol. 27(1).

    More about this item


    Knowledge index; knowledge production function; imputed future and present values of doctoral dissertations; knowledge of African countries;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • O55 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
    • C5 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • O39 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Other
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpge:0410007. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: EconWPA (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.