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Interpreting the Geography of Human Capital Stock Variations

  • Rachel S. FranklinEmail author
Chapter
Part of the New Frontiers in Regional Science: Asian Perspectives book series (NFRSASIPER, volume 40)

Abstract

A wealth of research has documented the importance of human capital for economic growth and development. While much of this body of research focuses on estimating the relationship between some economic outcome and, generally, levels of educational attainment, a subsidiary corpus of research has developed that focuses on documenting and explaining the geographic variation in human capital stocks that exists. The popular press, in its turn, has also adopted human capital stocks as a proxy for urban and regional vibrancy. Little attention has been focused on what, in fact, constitutes a talent or human capital magnet and how different measures of a seemingly straightforward concept might not only generate different results but might also be capturing more than simply levels of educational attainment. This chapter uses data on educational attainment—the share of the population with at least a college degree—for US metropolitan areas in 2000 and 2010 to conceptualize what is meant by a human capital or talent magnet and to highlight a few ways in which results might be driven by definition and measure. Of particular interest are the roles of age structure, migration, and relative performance.

Keywords

Human capital Labor markets Talent Migration Age structure Shift-share analysis 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS)Newcastle UniversityNewcastle upon TyneUK

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