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Electronic Platform for Adult Learning in Europe



Good access to adult education and training for the low-educated accelerates economic growth

Language: EN

Posted by Karine Nicolay

Lifelong learning has become a recognized EU-28 education priority in response to fast-paced technological transformations. This paper investigates the impact of employees’ investments in adult education and training on growth, and accounts for different levels of investments by labor earnings and by educational attainment of employees. Data from EU LFS are used for 23 European Countries or 211 regions between 2011 and 2016. The main results indicate that the growth rate is significantly reduced by -0.4 percentage points when inequality between lower and more highly educated in the access to education and training, increases. It is then argued that the skill-biased technological change, which implies that technological progress is only in favour of the high-educated, is not favourable for economic growth as a whole. Three implications are discussed: (1) the level of educational attainment in the population cannot explain why some countries excel and others fall short; (2) inequality in access to adult education and training between low- and high-educated is worse in societies with high shares of routinized jobs; and (3) the costs of adult education and training can explain about 0.1 percentage point of the total negative impact of inequality on growth.

Resource Author(s): 
Sofie Cabus research manager KU Leuven, HIVA - Research Institute for Work and Society and Miroslav Stefanik
Publication Date:
Monday, 4 March, 2019
Language of the document:
Type of resource: 
Studies and Reports
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