Spurring Economic Growth through Human Development: Research Results and Guidance for Policymakers

38 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2020

See all articles by David E. Bloom

David E. Bloom

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Alexander Khoury

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Vadim Kufenko

University of Hohenheim - Institute of Economics

Klaus Prettner

Institute of Economics; University of Goettingen (Göttingen); University of Vienna - Austrian Academy of Sciences; Vienna University of Technology - Institute for Mathematical Methods in Economics

Abstract

Education, general health, and reproductive health are key indicators of human development. Investments in these domains can also promote economic growth. This paper argues for the importance of human development related investments based on i) a theoretical economic growth model with poverty traps, ii) a literature review of evidence that different human development related investments can promote growth, and iii) own empirical analyses that aim at estimating the relative contribution of different human development indicators to economic growth across heterogeneous growth regimes. Our results suggest the following associations: (i) a one-child decrease in the total fertility rate corresponds to a 2 percentage point (pp) increase in annual per capita GDP growth in the short run (5 years) and 0.5 pp higher annual growth in the mid to long run (35 years), (ii) a 10% increase in life expectancy at birth corresponds to a 1 pp increase in annual GDP per capita growth in the short run and 0.4 pp higher growth in the mid to long run, and (iii) a one-year increase in average educational attainment corresponds to a 0.7 pp increase in annual growth in the short run and 0.3 pp higher growth in the mid to long run. By contrast, infrastructure proxies are not significantly associated with subsequent growth in any of the models estimated.

Keywords: human development, economic development

JEL Classification: I15, I25, J11, O15, O20

Suggested Citation

Bloom, David E. and Khoury, Alexander and Kufenko, Vadim and Prettner, Klaus, Spurring Economic Growth through Human Development: Research Results and Guidance for Policymakers. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12964, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3542633

David E. Bloom (Contact Author)

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health ( email )

677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02115
United States
617-432-0654 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Alexander Khoury

Harvard University - T.H. Chan School of Public Health

677 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA MA 02115
United States

Vadim Kufenko

University of Hohenheim - Institute of Economics ( email )

Schloss-Mittelhof (Ost)
70593 Stuttgart
Germany

Klaus Prettner

Institute of Economics ( email )

Fruwirthstr. 48
Stuttgart, 70599
Germany

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) ( email )

Platz der Gottinger Sieben 3
Gottingen, D-37073
Germany

University of Vienna - Austrian Academy of Sciences ( email )

Sonnenfelsgasse 19/2
Wien, Osterreich A-1010
Austria

Vienna University of Technology - Institute for Mathematical Methods in Economics ( email )

Argentinierstr. 8
Vienna, 1040
Austria

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
22
Abstract Views
211
PlumX Metrics