The history of the past half century shows that economic growth differs sharply across regions of the world. Neither the phenomenal growth of East Asia nor the disappointing performance of Latin America would have been predicted in 1960 by conventional models but are unified by consideration of what is learned in schools as measured by international assessments. The argument is that education equips people with the skills that make them more productive in their work. It also conveys the knowledge and competencies that enable them to generate and adopt the new ideas that spur innovation and technological progress and thereby increase future prosperity. The chapter also illustrates the importance of focusing on long-run growth.
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