Human capital and economic growth: does gender matter?

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This study is set out to investigate the linkages between economic growth and human capital by gender and level of education. The panel data was averaged at 7 points based on a sample of 62 countries spanning over the years 1970 to 1999. The Dynamic Panel System Generalized Method of Moments (SGMM) was employed on an Autoregressive Distributed Lag Model (ARDL) to analyze the effect of gender on the economic growth, which is the best method given the short time period and large cross sectional characteristic. Control variables such as gross capital formation, export volume, population and year effects were also decoded in order to obtain a more accurate and robust result trend. The data relating to economic variables of interest was extracted from the World Development Index 2007 and the data relating to human capital was taken from the study done by Barro and Lee (2000). The indicators for human capital include number of secondary school graduates and high school graduates according to gender. Findings reveal that females with high school as their highest education level, significantly contributed towards the economic growth, contributing approximately 3.35%. However the results also point out that the male secondary school graduates contributed to the countries’ development more significantly as compared to the female, whereby the formers’ contribution towards the economic development is approximately 5%, ceteris paribus. These results further strengthens the ideology that human capital is indeed an important component, at different levels, and it is this vital component which drives economic growth. An adequate and efficient form of funding or investment is required in order to improve the education industry, which will consequently benefit every other industry thus strengthening the economy.
Human capital , Economic growth , Gender
Nagaratnam, S., Abd Hamid, B., & Kaur, H. (2012). Human capital and economic growth: does gender matter? In Hooi Hooi Lean & Saidatulakmal Mohd (Eds.), Proceedings of USM-AUT International Conference 2012 Sustainable Economic Development: Policies and Strategies (pp. 913-924). Penang, School of Social Science, USM.
School of Social Science, USM

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