Human Capital, Age Structure, and Economic Growth

PODCAST - 16 January 2007 Jesus Crespo Cuaresma, Wolfgang Lutz


In collaboration with the Vienna Institute of Demography, IIASA's World Population Program has developed a new dataset of educational attainment by age and sex for 120 countries for the period 1970–2000. 

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The consistency of this new data is superior to existing historical datasets which have many gaps in time and changes in definition. Further, the new dataset also adjusts past enrollment rates as they are influenced by the different mortality rates that vary with people's level of education. By exploiting the demographic dimension of the education data, the researchers show human capital is better able to explain differences in income per capita across countries. In addition, when using the new data, aggregate changes in educational attainment are a robust determinant of economic growth. This unique data collection also provides a deeper insight into the importance of the age structure of human capital in technology adoption.

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