Human Capital and Economic Growth: Empirical Evidence for South America

Capital humano y crecimiento económico: evidencia empírica para Suramérica

Main Article Content

Oscar Hernán Cerquera Losada
María de los Ángeles Clavijo Tovar
Carla Yanella Pérez Peña


This paper evaluates the relationship between education and economic growth in 8 South American countries for the period 2003-2018. A model of fixed effects panel data was estimated. As a measure of human capital two indicators were used, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Education Index, and the Penn World Table 10.0 (PWT) human capital index; the purpose is to determine which of the two measures of human capital best explain the relationship between education and growth in South American economies. The results showed that exports per capita, education expenditure, fertility rate and gross capital formation are positively related to output per capita, and given the context of South American economies, the education index calculated by UNDP seems to be the most accurate indicator to measure the relationship between human capital and economic growth.



Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

Author Biography (SEE)

Oscar Hernán Cerquera Losada, Universidad Surcolombiana - USCO

Docente de tiempo completo de planta del programa de Economía de la Universidad Surcolombiana

Estudiante del docorado en Ciencias Económicas de la Universidad de Buenos Aires.

Magiter en Economía de la Universidad de Buenos Aires.

Economista de la Universidad Surcolombiana

Investigador Asociado del Ministerio de Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación

Investigador del Obervatorio Regional del Mercado de Trabajo

Investigador del Grupo de Investigación IGAQUE de la Universidad Surcolombiana

References (SEE)

Akhvlediani, T., & Cieślik, A. (2019). Human Capital, Technological Progress and Technology Diffusion Across Europe: Education Matters. Empirica, 1-19.

Alemán, D. (2020). Crecimiento económico y capital humano: evidencia empírica en las regiones del Perú periodo 2007-2018. (Tesis para optar el título profesional de ingeniero economista). Facultad de Ingeniería Económica, UNA, Puno.

Angrist, N., Djankov, S., Goldberg, P. K., & Patrinos, H. A. (2021). Measuring Human Capital Using Global Learning Data. Nature, 592(7854), 403-408.

Arrow, K. J. (1962, June). The Economic Implications of Learning by Doing. The Review of Economic Studies, 29(3), 155–173.

Barro, R. J. (1990, Oct.). Government Spending in a Simple Model of Endogeneous Growth. journal of Political Economy, 98(5), 103-125.

Barro, R. J., & Lee , W. J. (2013). A New Data Set of Educational Attainment in the World. Journal of Development Economics, 104, 184-198.

Becker, G. S. (1964). Human Capital: A Theoretical And Empirical Analysis, with Special Reference to Education (3th ed.).The National

Bureau of Economic Research.

Becker, G. S. (1981). A Treatise on the Family. Harvard University Press.

Caselli, F. (2005). Chapter 9. Accounting for Cross-Country Income Differences. Handbook of Economic Growth, 1(A), 679-741.

Cohen, D., & Soto, M. (2007). Growth and Human Capital: Good Data, Good Results. Journal of Economic Growth, 12(1), 51-76.

Cohen, D., & Leker, L. (2014, April). Health and Education: Another Look with the Proper Data. Center for Economic and Policy Research, Discussion Paper No. DP9940.

Denison, E. F. (1962). The Sources of Economic Growth in the United States and the Alternatives Before Us. In E. F. Denison, The Sources of Economic Growth in The United States and the Alternatives Before Us. (p. 352). Committee for Economic Development.

Favila, A. (2018). La educación como determinante del crecimiento económico de México, 1990-2014. Revista Científica Europea, 14(13), 1-15.

Feenstra, R., Inklaar, R., & Timmer, M. (2015). The Next Generation of the Penn World Table. American Economic Review, 105(10), 3150-3182.

Galor, O. (2005). Chapter 4 From Stagnation to Growth: Unified Growth Theory. P. Aghion, & S. N. Durlauf (edits.) ScienceDirect, 1, 171-293.

Galor, O. (2011). Unified Growth Theory. Princeton University Press. / 9781400838868

Garza-Rodriguez, J., Almeida-Velasco, N., Gonzalez-Morales, S., & Leal-Ornelas, A. P. (2020). The Impact of Human Capital on Economic Growth: The Case of Mexico. Journal of the Knowledge Economy, 11(2), 660-675.

Gujarati, D., & Porter, D. (2009). Econometría. En Econometría (5.a ed.). McGraw Hill.

Hausman, J. A. (1978, Nov.). Specification Tests in Econometrics. Econometrica, 46(6), 1251-1271.

Hernández, R., Cuevas, A., Leal, B., & Mendoza, C. (2016). Enseñanza-aprendizaje de ciencia e investigación en educación básica en México. Electrónica de Investigación Educativa., 18(3), 187-200.

Kaldor, N. (1961). Capital Accumulation and Economic Growth. In N. Kaldor (ed.), Capital Accumulation and Economic Growth (pp. 177-222). Palgrave Macmillan UK.

Kerlinger, F. (2002). Investigación del comportamiento. Técnicas y metodología. McGraw-Hill.

Kocourek, A., & Nedomlelová, I. (2018). Three Levels of Education and the Economic Growth. Applied Economics, 50(19), 2103-2116.

Krueger, A. B., & Lindahl, M. (2001). Education for Growth: Why and for Whom? Journal of Economic Literature, 39(4), 1101-1136.

Kumar, C. S. (2006). Human Capital and Growth Empirics. The Journal of Developing Areas, 40(1), 153-179.

López-Pueyo, C., Barcenilla, S., & Giménez, G. (2018). The Two Faces of Human Capital and their Effect on Technological Progress. Panoeconomicus, 65(2), 163-181.

Lucas, R. (1988). On the Mechanism of Economic Development. Journal of Monetary Economics, 22(1), 3-42.

Maneejuk, P., & Yamaka, W. (2021). The Impact of Higher Education on Economic Growth in ASEAN- 5 Countries. Sustainability, 13(2), 1-22.

Mankiw, N. G., Romer, D., & Weil, D. N. (May de 1992). A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 107(2), 407-437.

Mincer, J. (1958). Investment in Human Capital and Personal Income Distribution. The Journal of political Economy, 66(4), 281-302.

Odhiambo, N. M. (2020). Education and Economic Growth in South Africa: An Empirical Investigation. Revista Internacional de Economía Soical, 48, 1-21.

Padilla, V. A. (2020). La educación y el crecimiento económico en el Ecuador durante el período 1990 – 2017. (Proyecto de investigación, previo a la obtención del título de economista). Universidad Técnica de Ambato.

Pritchett, L. (2001, Oct.). Where Has All the Education Gone? The World Bank Economic Review, 15(3), 367-391.

Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo. (2020, 21 de jul.). Informes de desarrollo humano / Índice de educación. Human Development Reports.

Psacharopoulos, G. (1994, Sep.). Returns to Investment In Education: A global update. World Development, 22(9), 1325-1343.

Psacharopoulos, G., & Patrinos , H. A. (2004, Aug.). Returns to Investment in Education: A Further Update. Education Economics, 12(2), 111-134.

Romer, P. (1986). Increasing Returns and Long Run Growth. Journal of Political Economy, 94, 1002-1037.

Romer, P. M. (1990). Capital, Labor, and Productivity. In Brookings Papers on Economic Activity. Microeconomics, vol. 1990 (pp. 337-367). University of Chicago.

Schultz, T. W. (1960). Capital Formation by Education. Journal of Political Economy, 68(6), 571-583.

Smith, A. (1776). La riqueza de las naciones. C. Rodríguez Braun (trad.). Titivillus.

Strauss, J., & Thomas, D. (1995). Chapter 34 Human Resources: Empirical Modeling of Household and Family Decision. In J. Strauss, & D. Thomas (eds.), Handbook of Development Economics, vol. 3 (pp. 1883-2023). Elsevier.

Vera, J., & Kristjanpoller, W. (2017). Causalidad de Granger entre composición de las exportaciones, crecimiento económico y producción de energía eléctrica: evidencia empírica para Latinoamérica. Lecturas de Economía, (86), 25-62.

Wooldridge, J. M. (2010). Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data. (2nd ed.). The MIT Press.

Wooldridge, J. M. (2015). Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach. (5th ed.). Cengage Learning.

Xu, Y., & García González, M. (2021). Análisis histórico de la vinculación entre la educación superior y el desarrollo económico en China. Revista Cubana de Educación Superior, 40(1).

Zhang, X., & Wang, X. (2021). Measures of human capital and the mechanics of economic growth. China Economic Review, 68.

Zuniga, P. (30 de Octubre de 2018). Educación y crecimiento económico: análisis e implicancias. Economía y Administración (E&A), 9(1), 1-14.