The Role of International Assessments of Cognitive Skills in the Analysis of Growth and Development

  • Eric A. HanushekEmail author
  • Ludger Woessmann


While most analyses of growth and development emphasize the central role of human capital, measurement issues have plagued both research and policy development. Specifically, attention to school attainment and enrollment rates appears misdirected. In contrast, recent work has shown that the measures of cognitive skills that can be derived from international assessments greatly improve the ability to explain differences in economic growth rates across countries. Moreover, improved cognitive skills appear to have dramatic impacts on the future economic well-being of a country, suggesting that policy actions should focus directly on school quality and other means of improving cognitive skills.


Human Capital Gross Domestic Product Cognitive Skill Real Gross Domestic Product International Assessment 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hoover Institution, National Bureau of Economic Research and CESifoStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  2. 2.Ifo Institute for Economic Research and CESifoUniversity of MunichMunichGermany

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