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Globalization and human capital investment: Export composition drives educational attainment

Emily Blanchard () and William Olney

Journal of International Economics, 2017, vol. 106, issue C, 165-183

Abstract: Human capital is among the most important drivers of long-run economic growth, but its macroeconomic determinants are still not well understood. This paper demonstrates the importance of a key demand-side driver of education, using exogenously-driven changes in the composition of a country's exports as a lens to study how shifting patterns of production influence subsequent educational attainment. Using a panel of 102 countries and 45years, we find that growth in less skill-intensive exports depresses average educational attainment while growth in skill-intensive exports increases schooling. These results provide insight into which types of sectoral growth are most beneficial for long-run human capital formation and suggest that trade liberalization could exacerbate initial differences in factor endowments across countries.

Keywords: Exports; Education; Human capital; Skill-intensity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F14 F16 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2017.03.004

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