Book Production and the Onset of Modern Economic Growth
Jan Luiten van Zanden
Endogenous growth theory suggests that human capital formation plays a significant role for the ‘wealth and poverty of nations.’ In contrast to previous studies which denied the role of human capital as a crucial determinant of for really long-term growth, we confirm its importance. Indicators of human capital like literacy rates are lacking for the period of 1450-1913; hence, we use per capita book production as a proxy for advanced literacy skills. This study explains how, and to what extent, growth disparities are a function of human capital formation.
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