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Human Capital Growth in a Cross Section of U.S. Metropolitan Areas

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Wheeler, Christopher H. (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)
Other Title
  • Version 1 (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Research Division
Free Keywords
college degrees; economic growth; educational background; labor force; labor markets; population distribution
  • Abstract

    Human capital growth, defined as the change in the fraction of a metropolitan area's labor force with a bachelor's degree, is typically viewed as generating a number of desirable outcomes, including economic growth. Yet, in spite of its importance, few empirical studies have explored why some economies accumulate more human capital than others. This paper attempts to do so using a sample of more than 200 metropolitan areas in the United States over the years 1980, 1990, and 2000. The results reveal two consistently significant correlates of human capital growth: population and the existing stock of college-educated labor. Given that population growth and human capital growth are both positively associated with education, these results suggest that the geographic distributions of population and human capital should have become more concentrated in recent decades. That is, larger, more-educated metropolitan areas should have exhibited the fastest rates of increase in both population and education and thus 'pulled away' from smaller, less-education metropolitan areas. The evidence largely supports this conclusion.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • Time period: 1980
  • Time period: 1990
  • Time period: 2000
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Collection Mode
  • One file, 0603cw.exe, which unzips to the data and program files with a readme file, were submitted.

    These data are part of ICPSR's Publication-Related Archive and are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult the investigators if further information is desired.

This study is freely available to the general public via web download.
Alternative Identifiers
  • 1329 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Wheeler, Christopher H.. Human capital growth in a cross section of U.S. metropolitan areas. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review.88, (2), 113-132.2006.
  • Wheeler, Christopher H.. Human Capital Growth in a Cross Section of U.S. Metropolitan Areas. Working Paper.2005-065A, St. Louis, MO: . 2005.
    • ID: (URL)

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Wheeler, Christopher H. (2006): Human Capital Growth in a Cross Section of U.S. Metropolitan Areas. Version 1. Version: v1. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.