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Human capital inequality and economic growth: evidence with sub-national data from Thailand

Md Nasir Uddin (School of Development Economics, National Institute of Development Administration, Bangkok, Thailand)
Saran Sarntisart (School of Development Economics, National Institute of Development Administration, Bangkok, Thailand)

International Journal of Social Economics

ISSN: 0306-8293

Publication date: 5 August 2019

Issue publication date: 14 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to find the effects of human capital inequality on economic growth.

Design/methodology/approach

Thailand Labor Force Survey has been used to generate provincial average years of schooling and Gini coefficient of years of schooling for the years 1995‒2012. Econometric techniques have been employed to identify the effects of human capital inequality on economic growth.

Findings

Economic growth is inversely affected by the distribution of human capital in Thailand. The coefficient of human capital inequality suggests that if Gini coefficient increases by 0.01 points, gross provincial product (GPP) decreases by about 2 percentage points in the long run. However, the effect of average years of schooling in GPP is not significant.

Research limitations/implications

There is a lack of strong theoretical background for the relationship between human capital inequality and economic growth to support the empirical study.

Practical implications

The findings of the study help to design and evaluate education policies in developing countries like Thailand and other low- and middle-income countries.

Originality/value

This paper is among the first attempts to analyze the effect of human capital inequality on economic growth with sub-national level annual data. In addition, it considers cross sectional dependence in panel model.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper is a part of the PhD dissertation at the School of Development Economics, National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA), Bangkok, Thailand. The authors would like to acknowledge the dissertation committee members (Tongyai Iyavarakul, Isra Sarntisart, and Paitoon Kraipornsak) and all the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions to improve this paper. The authors also express gratitude to National Statistical Office (NSO) for the data support.

Citation

Uddin, M.N. and Sarntisart, S. (2019), "Human capital inequality and economic growth: evidence with sub-national data from Thailand", International Journal of Social Economics, Vol. 46 No. 7, pp. 938-956. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSE-07-2018-0368

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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