Human capital and the world technology frontier

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43 Citations (Scopus)


This paper examines the productivity growth effects of educational attainment and its interaction with the distance to the world technology frontier, which is the percentage distance to the country with the highest total factor productivity (TFP) (the United Kingdom or United States), while allowing for the endogeneity of educational attainment in some of the estimates. For this purpose, a new annual data set for educational attainment is constructed for 21 industrialized countries over the period from 1870 to 2009. The results show that changes in educational attainment and the interaction between education and the distance to the frontier, as predicted by Schumpeterian growth theory, have been influential for productivity growth over the past 140 years.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)676-692
Number of pages17
JournalReview of Economics and Statistics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


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