On the Global Misallocation of Human Capital


Is human capital allocated efficiently across countries? To answer this question, we need to differentiate misallocation from factor intensity differences. We use newly available estimates on natural resources shares from Monge-Naranjo et al. (2017) to correctly measure the factor shares of physical and human capital for a large number of countries and periods. We find that the global efficiency losses of the misallocation of human capital are around 60% of the world's output. Moreover, the misallocation of human capital seems to have worsened in the more recent years. Interestingly, we show that when physical and human capital can both be reallocated, physical capital would often ow from poor to rich countries, contrary to Lucas (1990)'s paradox.