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Micro Evidence on Human Capital as the Engine of Growth

  • Trostel, P.A.
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    This study examines a crucial assumption in much of the recent work on endogenous growth, namely, constant returns to scale in the production of human capital. A simple model is constructed to show that the returns to scale in human capital production can be inferred from the relationship between the wage rate and years of schooling. A large international micro dataset is used to estimate this relationship. The empirical evidence is decisive. There are decreasing returns to scale in human capital production; that is, the micro-level evidence is not supportive of endogenous growth driven by human capital accumulation.

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    File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/workingpapers/2008/twerp555.pdf
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    Paper provided by University of Warwick, Department of Economics in its series The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) with number 555.

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    Length: 20 pages
    Date of creation: 2000
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:wrk:warwec:555
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    Web page: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/

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    1. King, Robert G & Rebelo, Sergio, 1990. "Public Policy and Economic Growth: Developing Neoclassical Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(5), pages S126-50, October.
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    18. 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.
    19. Jones, Larry E & Manuelli, Rodolfo E & Rossi, Peter E, 1993. "Optimal Taxation in Models of Endogenous Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 485-517, June.
    20. Hungerford, Thomas & Solon, Gary, 1987. "Sheepskin Effects in the Returns to Education," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(1), pages 175-77, February.
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    23. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    24. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1993. "Transitional Dynamics in Two-Sector Models of Endogenous Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 739-773.
    25. Levine, Ross & Zervos, Sara J, 1993. "What We Have Learned about Policy and Growth from Cross-Country Regressions?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 426-30, May.
    26. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1996. "Unemployment and increasing private returns to human capital," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 1-20, July.
    27. N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer & David N. Weil, 1990. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    28. Groot, Wim & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 1994. "Earnings Effects of Different Components of Schooling: Human Capital versus Screening," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(2), pages 317-21, May.
    29. Ellis W. Tallman & Ping Wang, 1990. "Human capital and endogenous growth: evidence from Taiwan," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 90-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    30. Stokey, Nancy L & Rebelo, Sergio, 1995. "Growth Effects of Flat-Rate Taxes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(3), pages 519-50, June.
    31. Haley, William J, 1976. "Estimation of the Earnings Profile from Optimal Human Capital Accumulation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(6), pages 1223-38, November.
    32. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1990. "Empirical Age-Earnings Profiles," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(2), pages 202-29, April.
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