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The long-run impact of human capital on innovation and economic development in the regions of Europe

Human capital is supposed to be an important factor for innovation and economic development. However, the long-run impact of human capital on current innovation and economic development is still a black box, in particular at the regional level. Therefore, this paper makes the link between the past and the present. Using a large new dataset on regional human capital and other factors in the 19th and 20th century, we find that past regional human capital is a key factor explaining current regional disparities in innovation and economic development.