The Nexus between Education and Economic Growth: Analyzing Empirically a Case of Middle-Income Countries




Quality of Education, Quantity of Education, Economic Growth, Static and Dynamic Panel


The purpose of this paper is to examine empirically the nexus between education accumulation and economic growth for a sample of middle-income countries through panel data regressions. The sample consists of 28 middle-income countries from various continents: North Africa and the Middle East (6 countries), sub-Saharan Africa (7 countries), Latin America and the Caribbean (8 countries), East Asia and the Pacific (3 countries), and Europe and Central Asia (4 countries). Education is measured by quantitative (average years of labour force study) and qualitative indicators (student scores on international assessments of educational achievements). To test the impact of education accumulation on GDP per capita growth, a static panel is used during the period of study from 1970 to 2014. A dynamic panel is also being developed to estimate the effect of the education stock on the growth rate of GDP per capita. The results confirm the positive and significant impact of the education quantity and quality on economic growth, both in level and variation. The stock of education and its increase are positively affecting the growth. Moreover, this paper’s original findings suggest that the quality of education is more significant than its quantity.


Download data is not yet available.


Aghion, P., & Cohen, E. (2004). Education and Growth. Paris: The French Documentation.

Altinok, N. (2006). Human capital and growth: the contribution of international surveys of student achievement. Public Economy, 18-19, 177-209.

Altinok, N., Diebolt, C., & De Meulemeester, J.L. (2014). A New International Database on Education Quality: 1960-2010. Applied Economics, 46(11), 1212-1247.

Barro, R.J., & Lee, J.W. (2013). A new data set of educational attainment in the world, 1950–2010. Journal of Development Economics, 104(C), 184-198.

Barro, R.J., & Lee, J.W., (2015). Education Matters: Global Schooling Gains from the 19th to 21st Century. New York: Oxford University Press.

Barro, R.J. (1991). Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 151, 407-443.

Barro, R.J. (2001). Education and Economic Growth. Paris, France: OECD Press, 14-41.

Becker, G.S. (1964). Human capital. New-York et Londres: Colombia University Press.

Benhabib, J., & Spiegel, M. (1994). The Role of Human Capital in Economic Development: Evidence from Aggregate Cross-Country Data. Journal of Monetary Economics, 34, 143-179.

Freedom House. (2016). Freedom in the World Country Ratings 1973-2016, Database. Washington, DC: Freedom House.

Gurgand, M. (2000). Human capital and growth: empirical literature at a turning point? Public Economy, 6, 71-93.

Hanushek, E.A., & Woessmann, L. (2008). The Role of Cognitive Skills in Economic Development. Journal of Economic Literature, 46(3), 607-668.

Hanushek, E.A., & Woessmann, L. (2013). Do better schools lead to more growth? Cognitive skills, economic outcomes, and causation. Journal of Economic Growth, 17(4), 267-321.

Hanushek, E.A., & Kimko, D.D. (2000). Schooling, Labor-Force Quality, and the Growth of Nations. American Economic Review, 90(5), 1184-1208.

Islam, N. (1995). Growth Empirics: A Panel Data Approach. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 110(4), 1127-1170.

Krueger, A.B., & Lindahl, M. (2001). Education for Growth: Why and for Whom. Journal of Economic Literature, 39(4), 1101-1136.

Lucas, R.E. (1988). On the mechanics of economic development. Journal of Monetary Economics, 22, 3-42.

Mankiw, N., Romer, D., & Weil, D. (1992). A contribution to the empirics of economic growth. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 107, 407-437.

Nehru, V., Swanson, E., & Dubey, A. (1995). A new database on human capital stock in developing and industrial countries: Sources, methodology, and results. Journal of Development Economics, 46(2), 379-401.

Nelson, R., & Phelps, E. (1966). Investment in Humans, Technological Diffusion and Economic Growth. American Economic Review, 61, 69-75. Retrieved from

Pritchett, L. (2001). Where Has All the Education Gone? World Bank Economic Review, 15, 367-391. Retrieved from

Radieva, M., & Kolomiiets, V. (2019). Factors of human capital modernization in the context of institutionalization of information economy. Virtual Economics, 2(4), 26-45.

Romer, P.M. (1986). Increasing returns and long run growth. Journal of Political Economy, 94, 1002-1037.

Romer, P.M. (1990). Endogenous technical change. Journal of Political Economy, 98, 71-102. Retrieved from

Saban, S. (2003). Econometrics of qualitative variables. Paris: Dunod.

Vandenbussche, J., Aghion, P., & Meghir, C. (2006). Growth, Distance to Frontier and Composition of Human Capital. Journal of Economic growth, 11, 97-128.

Woessmann, L. (2000). Schooling Resources, Education Institutions, and Student Performance: The International Evidence. Working Paper, No. 983. Kiel, Germany: Kiel Institute of World Economics.




How to Cite

Jamel, L., Ltaifa, M. B., Elnagar, A. K., Derbali, A., & Lamouchi, A. (2020). The Nexus between Education and Economic Growth: Analyzing Empirically a Case of Middle-Income Countries. Virtual Economics, 3(2), 43–60.