Education, Social Equality and Economic Growth: A View of the Landscape

27 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2003

See all articles by Thorvaldur Gylfason

Thorvaldur Gylfason

University of Iceland - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Gylfi Zoega

University of Iceland; University of London - Birkbeck College; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Date Written: February 2003

Abstract

Education has been one of the key determinants of economic growth around the world since 1965. In this paper, we discuss three different measures of education, and consider their relationship to the distribution of income as measured by the Gini coefficient as well as to economic growth across countries. The three measures are: (a) gross secondary-school enrollment, (b) public expenditure on education relative to national income and (c) expected years of schooling for girls. We show that all three measures of education are directly related to income equality across countries. In a sample of 87 countries at all income levels, we also find that more and better education appears to encourage economic growth directly as well as indirectly through increased social equality and cohesion. Our regression results survive the introduction of regional dummy variables for Africa, Asia and Central and South America. We argue that the empirical relationship between education, on the one hand, and growth and equality, on the other hand, can help account for the positive correlation between the two latter variables that has been documented in the literature.

JEL Classification: I28, O15, O40

Suggested Citation

Gylfason, Thorvaldur and Zoega, Gylfi, Education, Social Equality and Economic Growth: A View of the Landscape (February 2003). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=385780

Thorvaldur Gylfason (Contact Author)

University of Iceland - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

IS-101 Reykjavik
Iceland
+354 525 4533/00 (Phone)
+354 552 6806 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.hi.is/~gylfason/inenglish.htm)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Gylfi Zoega

University of Iceland ( email )

IS-101 Reykjavik
Iceland

University of London - Birkbeck College ( email )

Malet Street
London, WC1E 7HX
United Kingdom

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

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