Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Higher Education

First Advisor's Name

Lynn Ilon

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Maria Willumsen

Third Advisor's Name

Benjamin Baez

Fourth Advisor's Name

Roger Geertz Gonzalez

Date of Defense



Amidst concerns about achieving high levels of technology to remain competitive in the global market without compromising economic development, national economies are experiencing a high demand for human capital. As higher education is assumed to be the main source of human capital, this analysis focused on a more specific and less explored area of the generally accepted idea that higher education contributes to economic growth. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to find whether higher education also contributes to economic development, and whether that contribution is more substantial in a globalized context.

Consequently, a multiple linear regression analysis was conducted to support with statistical significance the answer to the research question: Does higher education contributes to economic development in the context of globalization? The information analyzed was obtained from historical data of 91 selected countries, and the period of time of the study was 10 years (1990- 2000). Some variables, however, were lagged back 5, 10 or 15 years along a 15-year timeframe (1975-1990). The resulting comparative static model was based on the Cobb-Douglas production function and the Solow model to specify economic growth as a function of physical capital, labor, technology, and productivity. Then, formal education, economic development, and globalization were added to the equation.

The findings of this study supported the assumption that the independent contribution of the changes in higher education completion and globalization to changes in economic growth is more substantial than the contribution of their interaction. The results also suggested that changes in higher and secondary education completion contribute much more to changes in economic growth in less developed countries than in their more developed counterparts.

As a conclusion, based on the results of this study, I proposed the implementation of public policy in less developed countries to promote and expand adequate secondary and higher education systems with the purpose of helping in the achievement of economic development. I also recommended further research efforts on this topic to emphasize the contribution of education to the economy, mainly in less developed countries.





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