Economic performance and human capital

IIASA research has firmly established the fact that improvements in the educational attainment structure of populations are a key driver of economic growth. The new set of global Shared Socioeconomic Pathways scenarios—which define alternative population trajectories by age, sex, and six levels of educational attainment—reflect this, showing that economic growth trajectories follow those of human capital.

© Tom Wang | Dreamstime

© Tom Wang | Dreamstime

The quantitative assessment of the global effects of climate change requires the construction of income projections spanning large time horizons. Exploiting the robust link between educational attainment, age structure dynamics, and economic growth we used population projections by age, sex, and educational attainment to obtain an income per capita path to the year 2100 for 144 countries [1]. This framework offers a powerful, consistent method which can be used to study the future environmental challenges and to address potential policy reactions.


[1] Crespo Cuaresma J (2015). Income projections for climate change research: A framework based on human capital dynamics. Global Environmental Change, Article in press (Published online 4 April 2015).

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Last edited: 25 February 2016

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