The Role of Human Capital and Intelligence in the Economic Development of the Asian Economies

  • Richard Lynn
  • Tatu Vanhanen


The cognitive skills of a population are known as its human capital. It has been widely accepted that human capital is an important determinant of economic growth and development. Thus ‘human capital, particularly that attained through education, has been emphasised as a critical determinant of economic progress’ (Barro and Lee, 2001, p. 541); and ‘growth rates are affected by ideas and invention, which in turn are related to the stock of human capital either through research and development activities or though adoption behaviour. These formulations indicate not only why the level of output is higher when a country has more human capital but also why the growth rate is higher’ (Hanushek and Kimko, 2000, p. 1184). Human capital in different countries has been measured by the number of years of its educational programme, and by educational attainment. The second of these is more valid as an index of human capital (Engelbrecht, 2003). Hanushek and Kimko (2000) and a number of other economists have shown that educational attainment measured in the international studies of mathematics and science are positively associated with economic growth and per capita income.


Human Capital Educational Attainment Capita Income East Asian Country European Nation 
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© Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen 2005

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  • Richard Lynn
  • Tatu Vanhanen

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