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Economic Development and Education

The idea that there is a connection between education and economic development has now become commonplace. Politicians refer to the importance of education as increasing the returns to income and national competitiveness in the global economy, as if the relationship between education and the economy is uncontested. It is not.

It should be said that reference to economic development was once reserved for developing countries, but in light of the Great Recession and the rise of the East Asian economies such as China and India, the question of how to achieve national economic growth now also applies to the so-called developed economies. The idea that a combination of sound education and “free” markets was all that was required for prosperity is now in doubt. Yet it ...

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