Higher Education and Economic Growth in Africa

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This paper uses panel data over the 1960–2000 period, a modified neoclassical growth equation, and a dynamic panel estimator to investigate the effect of higher education human capital on economic growth in African countries. We find that all levels of education human capital, including higher education human capital, have positive and statistically significant effect on the growth rate of per capita income in African counties. Our result differs from those of earlier research that find no significant relationship between higher education human capital and income growth. We estimate the growth elasticity of higher education human capital to be about 0.09, an estimate that is twice as large as the growth impact of physical capital investment. While this is likely to be an overestimate of the growth impact of higher education, it is robust to different specifications and points to the need for African countries to effectively use higher education human capital in growth policies.

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