How Large are Local Human Capital Spillovers?: Evidence from Korea
This paper examines the empirical magnitude of local human capital spillovers in Korea during the 1980s and mid-1990s. Local human capital spillovers exists if plants in regions with a higher level of human capital can produce more given their own amount of input (Moretti 2004c). In particular, this paper explores an educational reform in South Korea which exogenously induced a large amount of variation in regional human capital levels. Using annually collected plant level data, I explore the effect of changes in the regional human capital levels induced by this reform on plant productivity in Korea. My results suggest that this effect is limited. I find a positive correlation between a regional level of human capital and plant productivity. However, after further addressing endogeneity using an instrumental variable, the effect of the overall regional human capital level on productivity decreases and becomes statistically insignificant.
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