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  • Fabio Cerina (a1) and Fabio Manca (a2)

This paper presents a theoretical and empirical investigation of the relationship between human capital composition and economic growth. In the theoretical analysis, we allow for nonconstant returns to scale in technological activities. Differently from previous literature, our results show that, under broad and plausible model parameterizations, the marginal growth effect of skilled workers is increasing with the distance to the frontier for sufficiently poor countries while it is decreasing (in agreement with the existing literature) only for countries close to the technological frontier. Our empirical analysis provides robust evidence for this theoretical prediction by using a 10-year panel of 85 countries for the years in between 1960 and 2000, as well as by using the System Generalized Methods of Moments (GMM) technique to address the problem of endogeneity. Results are robust to different proxies of human capital and different specifications.

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Address correspondence to: Fabio Cerina, University of Cagliari, Department of Economics and Business, Viale Sant'Ignazio 78, 09123 Cagliari, Italy; e-mail:
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Macroeconomic Dynamics
  • ISSN: 1365-1005
  • EISSN: 1469-8056
  • URL: /core/journals/macroeconomic-dynamics
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