Cognitive skills, innovation and technology diffusion

George Messinis, Abdullahi Ahmed

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    19 Citations (Scopus)


    This article presents new international estimates of human capital for the period 1970-2003. The new latent index is used to re-examine the Benhabib and Spiegel (2005) model of technology diffusion in a horse-race with the competing indicators of Barro and Lee (2010) and Hanushek and Wößmann (2009). Analysis employs cross-section and panel econometrics, extends beyond the Cobb-Douglas technology, and deals with endogeneity bias. Robust evidence confirms the significance of cognitive skills as a driver of innovation and diffusion. Although there is substantial diversity, the new human capital index has declined in many countries in Africa and the OECD.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)565-578
    Number of pages14
    JournalEconomic Modelling
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


    • Diffusion
    • Education
    • Growth
    • Human capital
    • Innovation
    • Research skills


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