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Human Capital and Economic Growth: Empirical Evidence for South America


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.


Economic growth, human capital, education, panel data, fixed effects

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Author Biography

Oscar Hernán Cerquera Losada

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


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