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Is Catching Up with Developed World’s Levels of Skills Possible for Poorer Countries?

Andrea Doneschi (), Rossana Patrón () and Marcel Vaillant
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Rossana Patrón: Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la República

No 2112, Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) from Department of Economics - dECON

Abstract: Some countries seem to be lagging behind in global accumulation of skills. As the ratio of skilled to unskilled labour is key for growth (e.g. endogenous growth theory), this situation suggests a gloomy future for developing countries. Is catching up with the developed world?s levels of skills still possible? The poor performance of the education sector in many countries casts serious doubts on this. This note addresses this question, discussing the simplest necessary conditions for skill convergence. It is shown that the high share of unskilled workers in the inflow of entrants to the labour market may perpetuate low levels of skills endowment, making it impossible to catch up with the developed world. However, education policy could regulate the level and the speed of the accumulation process through suitable strategies.

Keywords: skills accumulation; catching up (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 I22 I28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 9 pages
Date: 2012-12
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