Dissertation Education Economic Growth

*Education and economic *growth: Evidence from China and *policy implications

Weibin Xu, University of Pennsylvania


Over the last two decades, China has witnessed extraordinary growth, which generates interest across the world. While many studies have been conducted to investigate relation of education and economic growth, no systematic efforts have been made to assert causality between education and economic growth. Based on panel data from China, which cover thirty provinces over a period of twenty years from 1978 to 1997, this present study develops one of the first detailed national and provincial average years of schooling measures and physical capital stock measures for China, and examines causality between education and economic growth by employing more acceptable econometric models to account for lagged effects of education. In particular, a revised aggregate production function and autoregressive lagged growth regression model, which explicitly includes lagged dependent variables, have been estimated by a special statistical approach to take into consideration the unique features of panel data. This study finds that education at large and primary, secondary and higher education all have significant positive lagged effects upon economic growth, which in this study is measured as total GDP and real per capita GDP growth as well. Dramatic variation across three geographic regions in terms of impact of education has been detected, which may signal fundamental disparity of the combination of factor inputs in these regions. This study suggests that balanced development of education and other factors are central to the sustainable long-term growth, and education is one of the causes for economic growth. ^

Subject Area

Economics, General|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Xu, Weibin, "*Education and economic *growth: Evidence from China and *policy implications" (2000). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9989672.


Since July 16, 2004



In this dissertation we explore different aspects of the relationship between education (as one of the main components of human capital) and economic productivity. ^ In the first chapter, we measure the factors that contribute to the quality of education, following Hanushek and Woessmann (2007). An empirical research is carried out for the case of Chile, a country which implemented a very unique educational system in the mid-1980s, with a strong participation of the private sector in the provision of educational services. Amongst other factors, we study the influence of the public/private divide, the socio-economic level of the students and the pupil/teacher ratio. The quality of education is measured by the performance of students in standardised national tests administered to all schools in Chile. ^ The second chapter explores the effects of population density on productivity and the synergetic impact of educational attainment and population density on the causation of technological progress and economic growth, following Becker et al. (1999). We devise a simple theoretical model to explain the channels through which education and density affect productivity, and we test it for a wide sample of developed and developing countries. Our empirical results confirm the positive impact of both population density—broadly defined—and the interaction of education and density on economic productivity. ^ Finally, the third chapter of the dissertation examines the ongoing controversy about the roles of education and institutions as main contributing factors of economic growth. To try to establish a balanced view, we first assume as a premise that good institutional governance is indeed an important factor in promoting economic growth, as has been shown repeatedly in the literature. But at the same time, we investigate the causes of good institutional governance, and find out that educational attainment is one of the main factors contributing to most of the aspects of good governance. ^

Recommended Citation

Garces, Juan-Pedro, "Three Essays on Education and its Impact on Economic Growth and Development" (2011). Doctoral Dissertations. AAI3476647.

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