Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=516123
 
 

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Many Types of Human Capital and Many Roles in U.S. Growth: Evidence from County-Level Educational Attainment Data


Andrew Young


Emory University - Department of Economics

Daniel Levy


Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics; Emory University - Department of Economics; Rimini Center for Economic Analysis

Matthew John Higgins


Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

March 10, 2004

Bar-Ilan University Economics Working Paper No. 3-04

Abstract:     
We utilize county-level data to explore the roles of different types of human capital accumulation in U.S. growth determination. The data includes over 3,000 cross-sectional observations and 39 demographic control variables. The large number of observations provides enough degrees of freedom to obtain estimates for the U.S. as a whole and for 32 states in and of themselves. This data contains measures of educational attainment for four distinct categories: (a) 9 to11 years, (b) high school diploma, (c) some college and (d) bachelor degree or more. These variables represent human capital stocks for each and every county. This is a departure from much of the economic growth literature, which has (at least in part) relied on extrapolation of stocks from flows, e.g. school enrollment data. We use a consistent two stage least squares estimation procedure. We find that (i) the percentage of a county's population with less than a high-school education is negatively correlated with economic growth, (ii) the percentage obtaining a high school diploma is positively correlated with growth, and (iii) the percentage obtaining some college education has no clear relationship with economic growth but (iv) the percentage that obtains a bachelor degree or more is positively correlated with growth. Further, we find that (v) there is significant qualitative heterogeneity in estimated coefficients across states for the 9 to 11 years and high school diploma categories but (vi) no qualitative heterogeneity for the college level categories. The most consistent conclusion across samples is that the percent of a county's population obtaining a bachelor degree or higher level of college education has a positive relationship with economic growth. Oddly enough, despite findings (ii), (iv) and (vi) above, we find that the percentage of a county's population employed in educational services is negatively correlated with economic growth.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 42

Keywords: Human capital stock, educational attainment, economic growth, county level data

JEL Classification: O40, O11, O18, R11, I20, J24

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Date posted: March 10, 2004  

Suggested Citation

Young, Andrew and Levy, Daniel and Higgins, Matthew John, Many Types of Human Capital and Many Roles in U.S. Growth: Evidence from County-Level Educational Attainment Data (March 10, 2004). Bar-Ilan University Economics Working Paper No. 3-04. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=516123 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.516123

Contact Information

Andrew T. Young (Contact Author)
Emory University - Department of Economics ( email )
1602 Fishburne Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
404-727-1022 (Phone)
Daniel Levy
Bar-Ilan University - Department of Economics ( email )
Ramat-Gan, 5290002
Israel
+972 3 531-8345 (Phone)
+972 3 738-4034 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://econ.biu.ac.il/en/levy

Emory University - Department of Economics ( email )
1602 Fishburne Drive, Suite 306
Rich Building
Atlanta, GA 30322-0001
United States
HOME PAGE: http://economics.emory.edu/home/people/faculty/Levydaniel.html
Rimini Center for Economic Analysis ( email )
Via Patara, 3
Rimini (RN), RN 47900
Italy
HOME PAGE: http://www.rcfea.org/
Matthew John Higgins
Georgia Institute of Technology - Scheller College of Business ( email )
800 West Peachtree Street
Atlanta, GA 30308
United States
404-894-4368 (Phone)
404-894-6030 (Fax)
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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