Edited by Geraint Johnes and Jill Johnes
Philip Stevens and Martin Weale 1 Introduction There are two very basic reasons for expecting to ﬁnd some link between education and economic growth. First of all at the most general level it is intuitively plausible that living standards have risen so much over the last millennium and in particular since 1800 because of education. Progress of the sort enjoyed in Europe was not observed in the illiterate societies that have gradually merged into the world economy over the last two hundred years. To the most casual observer it must seem that there is a link between scientiﬁc advance and the way in which education has facilitated the development of knowledge. Of course the Curies and the Newtons of this world are few and far between. But people with only very limited education often ﬁnd it diﬃcult to function at all in advanced societies. Education is needed for people to beneﬁt from scientiﬁc advance as well as to contribute to it. Secondly, at a more speciﬁc level, a wide range of econometric studies indicates that the incomes individuals can command depend on their level of education. If people with education earn more than those without, should not the same be true of countries? If not the rate of change of output per hour worked, at least the level of output per hour worked in a country ought to depend on the educational attainment of the population. If spending on education delivers returns of some sort,...
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