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Human capital accumulation, income distribution, and economic growth: a demand-led analytical framework*

Gilberto Tadeu Lima, Laura Carvalho and Gustavo Pereira Serra

Keywords: human capital; income distribution; economic growth; employment rate

This paper incorporates human capital accumulation through provision of universal public education by a balanced-budget government to a demand-driven analytical framework of functional distribution and growth of income. Human capital accumulation positively impacts on workers’ productivity in production and their bargaining power in wage negotiations. In the long-run equilibrium, a rise in the tax rate (which also denotes the share of output spent in human capital formation) lowers the pre- and after-tax wage share and physical capital utilization, and thus raises (lowers) the output growth rate when the latter is profit-led (wage-led). The impact of a higher tax rate on the employment rate (which also measures human capital utilization) in the long-run equilibrium is negative (ambiguous) when output growth is wage-led (profit-led). In any case, the supply of higher-skilled workers does not automatically create its own demand.

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