Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Economics (PhD)

Degree Level





Arya Gaduh

Committee Member

Robert Costrell

Second Committee Member

Gary Ferrier


growth accounting, misallocation, technology spillovers


Differences in human capital explain approximately one-half of the productivity variation across countries. Therefore, we need to understand drivers of human capital accumulation in order to design successful development policies. My dissertation studies formation and use of human capital with emphasis on its less tangible forms, including skills, abilities and know-how.

The first chapter of my dissertation explores the effects of occupational and educational barriers on human capital stock and aggregate productivity. I find that students' academic skills have very small impact on occupational choice in most developing countries. This finding suggests a higher incidence of occupational barriers in developing countries. I evaluate the productivity losses resulting from occupational barriers by calibrating a general equilibrium model of occupational choice. According to my estimation, developing countries can increase their GDP by up to twenty percent by reducing the barriers to the level of a benchmark country (US).

In the second chapter of my dissertation, I study the effects of economic growth on education quality. Several models of human capital accumulation predict that incomes have a positive causal effect on human capital for given levels of education by increasing the consumption of educational goods. The paper tests this prediction by using a within country variation in incomes per-capita across different cohorts of US immigrants. Wages of US migrants conditional on years of education serve as a measure of education quality. I find that average domestic incomes experienced by migrants in age from zero to twenty years have a significant positive effect on their future earnings in the US.

The third chapter studies the effects of employee-driven technology spillovers on technology adoption. It challenges the theoretical result of Franco and Filson (2006) by assuming that workers are risk averse and that the number of competitors is finite. In this more realistic scenario spillovers significantly reduce payoffs from adopting advanced technologies.