Education in African Economic Growth

  • John Vaizey
Part of the International Economic Association Conference book series (IEA)


If it is the case, as is sometimes said, that education is ‘investment in human capital’, then it should logically follow that the accumula tion of this human capital should be a factor in economic growth.1 There are a number of views that may be taken, none of them very convincing. One such view deducts from the total rate of growth the contributions of physical capital and population growth, and finds a very large remaining factor—which Aukrust has named the third factor. American scholars have taken a second view, that the differential incomes earned by educated people over those earned by uneducated people measure the ‘return’ on education. This implies a series of assumptions about the economy—notably full employment and an acceptable distribution of earned incomes mirroring a perfect labour market—which seems implausible. The third view is less bold in its claims and more orthodox in its ancestry, relying chiefly upon the work of Marshall and Marx. It draws attention to the secondary effects of education, and the supply of skills; and emphasizes the importance of pragmatic analysis of each case. In a number of countries (India, Pakistan, and the Philippines) there is the phenomenon of ’intellectual unemployment’, which shows that education can often be abortive and irrelevant to economic growth.


Europe Income Marketing Assimilation Egypt 


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  1. 1.
    See Nicholas DeWitt, Soviet Professional Manpower, Washington, 2nd edition, 1961.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Economic Association 1964

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Vaizey
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Unit in the Economics and Administration of EducationUniversity of London Institute of EducationUK

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