Do modern forms of human capital matter in primitive economies? Comparative evidence from Bolivia, Economics of Education Review
We examine the correlation between modern human capital and income among adult men in four foraging-horticultural societies of Bolivia. Despite their remote location, we find results similar to those found in developed nations. We find that: (a) education correlates with 4.5% higher overall income and with 5.9% higher wages and math skills correlates with 13.5% higher cash income, and (b) the positive correlation between education or math skills and income is higher among households closer to market towns. The high returns to modern human capital even in highly autarkic economies might explain why people in those societies reduce investments in the accumulation of traditional folk knowledge.
Karlan, Dean. 2005. Do modern forms of human capital matter in primitive economies? Comparative evidence from Bolivia. Economics of Education Review. 24(1): 45-53.