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Our most academic publication offers research and surveys on monetary policy, national and international developments, banking, and more. The content is written for an economically informed readership—from the undergraduate student to the PhD.


Vol. 88, No. 2 (Posted 2006-03-01)

Human Capital Growth in a Cross Section of U.S. Metropolitan Areas

by Christopher H. Wheeler

Growth of human capital (change in the fraction of a metro area's college-educated labor force) is typically seen as generating desirable outcomes (e.g., economic growth). With a sample of >200 U.S. metro areas for 1980, 1990, and 2000, the author explores why some economies have more human capital than others and finds two significant correlates: population and the existing stock of college-educated labor. If population and human capital growth are positively associated with education, these results suggest that larger, more-educated metro areas should have the fastest rates of growth. The evidence supports this conclusion.

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