Education ForumEducation and Development

Knowledge capital, growth, and the East Asian miracle

Science  22 Jan 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6271, pp. 344-345
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad7796

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Summary

With per-capita gross domestic product (GDP) growing by an average of 4.5% annually since 1960, people in East Asia are about nine times as prosperous as two generations ago. By contrast, the average person in Latin America is only about two and a half times as prosperous. Over the past quarter-century, both theoretical and empirical analyses of possible drivers of the different growth rates seen around the world invariably assign an important role to human capital (14). This has led to development policies focused on increasing enrollment and retention in schools. We argue, however, that too much attention is paid to the time spent in school, and too little is paid to the quality of the schools and the types of skills developed there.