Directly Unproductive Schooling: How Country Characteristics Affect the Impact of Schooling on Growth

Jul 2003 | 166

Authors: Mark Rogers


The rapid rise in schooling in developing countries in recent decades has been dramatic. However, many cross-country regression analyses of the impact of schooling on economic growth find low and insignificant coefficients. This empirical `puzzle` contrasts with theoretical arguments that schooling, through raising human capital, should raise income levels. This paper argues that poor resulst are to be expected when regression samples include countries that vary greatly in their ability to use schooling productively. Data on corruption, the black market premium on foreign exchange and the extent of the brain drain for developing countries are used as indicators of an economy`s productive use of schooling. Regression analysis shows that the impact of secondary schooling on economic growth is substantially higher in countries that are adjudged to use schooling productivity.

JEL Codes: I21, O15, O40

Keywords: Schooling, human capital, corruption, brain drain, economic growth


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