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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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    13. 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.
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    19. 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.
    20. Andrew Weiss, 1995. "Human Capital vs. Signalling Explanations of Wages," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 133-154, Fall.
    21. 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.
    22. Colm Harmon & Ian Walker, 1996. "The marginal and average returns to schooling," IFS Working Papers W96/11, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    23. 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.
    24. 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.
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    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. James Heckman & Anne Layne-Farrar & Petra Todd, 1995. "The Schooling Quality-Earnings Relationship: Using Economic Theory to Interpret Functional Forms Consistent with the Evidence," NBER Working Papers 5288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    28. Daron Acemoglu, 1996. "A Microfoundation for Social Increasing Returns in Human Capital Accumulation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(3), pages 779-804.
    29. Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 1992. "Transitional Dynamics in Two-Sector Models of Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 3986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    30. Paul M. Romer, 1989. "Human Capital And Growth: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 3173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    33. 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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