2010 05 18 VOXEU Barro Educational attainment in the world STATS

2010 05 18 VOXEU Barro Educational attainment in the world STATS

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Educational attainment in the world, 1950 2010 Robert Barro Jong-Wha Lee 18 May 2010 http://www.voxeu.org/index.php?q=node/5058 Empirical investigations of the role of human capital require accurate measures across countries and over time. This column describes a new dataset on educational attainment for 146 countries at 5-year intervals from 1950 to 2010. The new data, freely available online, use more information and better methodology than existing datasets. Among the many new results is that the rate of return to an additional year of schooling on output is quite high ranging from 5% to 12%. It is widely accepted that human capital, particularly attained through education, is crucial to economic progress. An increase in the number of well-educated people implies a higher level of labour productivity and a greater ability to absorb advanced technology from developed countries ( Acemoglu 2009 ). Empirical investigations of the role of human capital require accurate and internationally- comparable measures of human capital across countries and over time. Our earlier studies (1993, 1996, and 2001) constructed measures of educational attainment of the adult population for a broad group of countries. This column introduces a new data set (available at barrolee.com ) providing improved estimates for 146 countries at 5-year intervals from 1950 to 2010. The data are disaggregated by sex and by 5-year age groups among the population aged 15 years and
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2010 05 18 VOXEU Barro Educational attainment in the world STATS

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