Gender-specific human capital, openness and growth: exploring the linkages for South Asia
Using data covering 1970-2008 for South Asia, this study investigates the influence of human capital disaggregated by gender, on economic growth. We use an extended version of the Solow growth model with per capita gross domestic product (GDP) a function of the key variables, viz. physical capital accumulation, human capital accumulation, trade openness and capital flows, fiscal policy and financial development. The key contribution of this study is to show that openness when interacted with the human capital stock disaggregated by gender, has differential impacts on economic growth. While the positive impact of male secondary schooling captures the direct skill effect relative to primary schooling, the marginal influence of female primary/secondary schooling fails to show a positive impact on growth at higher levels of openness. An implication stemming from this study is that educational opportunities for females at the secondary level should be increased for South Asia.