Human Capital Accumulation in Emerging Asia, 1970-2030

Publication | September 2010
Human Capital Accumulation in Emerging Asia, 1970-2030

Emerging Asian economies have made strong progress in improving educational capital in the past 40 years. High educational attainment, especially at the secondary level, has significantly improved emerging Asia's educational achievement. Regressions show that better parental education and income, lower income inequality, declining fertility, and higher public educational expenditures account for higher educational enrollment. But Asia's average years of schooling are forecast to increase to 7.6 years by 2030, from 7.0 in 2010, significantly slower than the increase of 4.1 years from 1970 to 2010. That would put emerging Asia's educational capital in 2030 at only the 1970 level of the advanced countries, or still 3.5 years behind the level of advanced countries in 2010. For sustained human development, Asian economies must invest in improving educational quality and raising enrollment rates at the secondary and tertiary levels.


  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Educational Progress in Emerging Asia, 1970-2010
  • Determinants of Educational Investment
  • Projections of Human Capital Growth in Emerging Asia
  • Concluding Remarks
  • Appendix: Estimation of Enrollment Rates Based on Logistic Trend
  • References