Demographic change, human capital, and economic growth in Korea

Jong Suk Han, Jong Wha Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We construct a measure of human capital using micro datasets on labor composition of age, gender, education, and wage rate and analyze its role in economic growth for the Korean economy. Over the past three decades, human capital has grown steadily at about 1% per year, contrasting to a continuously declining trend of total work-hours. This growth has been driven by the rise of better-educated baby-boom cohorts. A growth accounting exercise shows that human capital contributes significantly to economic growth; it accounted for 0.5% points of annual GDP growth over the period. Human capital is projected to remain a major growth factor over the next two decades as the increase in educational attainment continues. Increased employment rate of elderly or female workers reduces the aggregate human capital growth while increasing the available labor. Polices to improve human capital of female or elderly workers help to increase aggregate human capital growth.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100984
JournalJapan and the World Economy
Volume53
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Mar

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank Shin-Ichi Fukuda, Charles Horioka, Xin Meng, Haizheng Li, John Piggott, Kwanho Shin, and seminar participants at Asia-Pacific Economic Association, Australian National University, Central University of Finance and Economics, Korea University, and Nanyang Technological University for their helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper. This research has been supported by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing (ARC Grant number CE170100005 ).

Funding Information:
The authors thank Shin-Ichi Fukuda, Charles Horioka, Xin Meng, Haizheng Li, John Piggott, Kwanho Shin, and seminar participants at Asia-Pacific Economic Association, Australian National University, Central University of Finance and Economics, Korea University, and Nanyang Technological University for their helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper. This research has been supported by the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing (ARC Grant number CE170100005).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier B.V.

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Demographic change
  • Education
  • Growth
  • Human capital
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations

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