The recent natural gas boom in the United States, attributable to the widespread use of hydraulic fracturing, has led to abundant economic benefits over the past few years. The industry has grown so rapidly that it is important to analyze its social effects on the communities in which the extraction occurs. This paper investigates the impact of natural gas drilling on the human capital stock and accumulation of human capital in the county of extraction. Drawing on previous research that investigates how human capital is affected in the event of natural resource abundance, this paper isolates the impact a cubic foot increase in production of natural gas has on the educational outcome of a particular county. Through the use of a panel data regression, results show that counties with higher production, or any production at all, have a higher number of college dropouts as well as lower enrollment rates when looking at lagged gas production. The analysis demonstrates that natural gas production negatively affects both human capital accumulation and stock for that county.
Over the last century, Latin American countries have experienced positive economic growth, but with one in five Latin Americans living in poverty throughout rural and urban communities, it is pertinent for Latin American countries to attract foreign direct investment. This paper contributes to economic literature by exploring the relationship between foreign direct investment, economic growth and human capital accumulation in 19 Latin American countries and finds that both foreign direct investment and human capital accumulation have a significant impact on gross domestic product (GDP) per capita. However, when the economic model controls for literacy rates, foreign direct investment loses its significance and explanatory power meaning that Latin American countries should concern themselves with, and implement policy changes that promote, the accumulation of human capital.
Currently the richest countries of the world sustain an income almost seventy times that of the poorest ones. Recent literature, such as Eichengreen and Gupta (2009) and Rodrik (2012), suggest that productivity is an important determinant of growth and may explain why some nations are not catching up in the long-run, especially at the sector level. The topic of sectoral value convergence, however, has not been an area of much study. Using time series data on between 56 to 111 economies, this paper finds that absolute convergence occurred only in the manufacturing and services sectors from 1980 to 2010. When conditioned upon human capital, political infrastructure, and a number of sector specific determinants, convergence occurred across countries in agriculture, manufacturing, and services. In addition, increases in human capital are found to improve convergence effects in all three sectors.