Human Capital Versus Income Variations: Are They Linked in OECD Countries?

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Abstract

Purpose: The theory of endogenous growth suggests a number of relations between income inequality and human capital. However, empirical evidence in this field is scarce. Therefore, in this paper we aim to demonstrate the existence of interdependencies between income inequality and human capital across OECD countries.

Methodology: We present findings of the endogenous growth theory on the mechanisms linking inequality with human capital. Subsequently, we attempt to verify these links empirically using the regression function estimated by means of the generalized method of moments (GMM). The empirical analysis is based on panel data from 1995-2010.

Findings: The results of the study reveal the existence of a negative relationship between income inequality and health indicators (infant mortality and maternal mortality). However, we did not reach an authoritative conclusion about the relationship between income inequality and quantitative indicators of educational achievement.

Research limitations: Research is limited to the sample of OECD countries. Interdependencies between income inequality and human capital could be captured more clearly using a broader sample.

Originality: This paper presents one of few studies testing the relation between human capital and income inequality. The use of high-quality empirical data on inequality (SWIID data) and the generalized method of moments made it possible to contribute new arguments to the discussion of empirical analyses of these economic categories.

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