We thank the editor Jon Temple, Jenny Minier, Thanasis Stengos, two anonymous referees, and participants at the 2010 Southern Economic Association Conference and the University of Palermo for helpful comments and suggestions.
Does Education Matter for Economic Growth?†
Article first published online: 31 MAR 2013
© 2013 The Department of Economics, University of Oxford and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics
Volume 76, Issue 3, pages 334–359, June 2014
How to Cite
Delgado, M. S., Henderson, D. J. and Parmeter, C. F. (2014), Does Education Matter for Economic Growth?. Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 76: 334–359. doi: 10.1111/obes.12025
- Issue published online: 23 APR 2014
- Article first published online: 31 MAR 2013
Empirical growth regressions typically include mean years of schooling as a proxy for human capital. However, empirical research often finds that the sign and significance of schooling depends on the sample of observations or the specification of the model. We use a non-parametric local-linear regression estimator and a non-parametric variable relevance test to conduct a rigorous and systematic search for significance of mean years of schooling by examining five of the most comprehensive schooling databases. Contrary to a few recent articles that have identified significant nonlinearities between education and growth, our results suggest that mean years of schooling is not a statistically relevant variable in growth regressions. However, we do find evidence (within a cross-sectional framework), that educational achievement, measured by mean test scores, may provide a more reliable measure of human capital than mean years of schooling.