High skills, high growth: is tourism an exception?

TitleHigh skills, high growth: is tourism an exception?
Publication TypeWorking Paper
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsDi Liberto, A
Keywordseconomic development, human capital, tourism

Despite the emphasis placed by growth models on technological progress, recent empirical evidence shows that tourism, a low-skill/low-tech sector and one of the fastest growing industries in the world, may offer a beneficial specialization strategy for growth. This paper focuses on a balanced panel of 72 countries (1980-2005) and confirms that the tourism sector indicator is always positive and significant in growth regressions. Moreover, results also imply that increased education contribute to growth and that the role of the tourism sector is significantly larger in countries with higher aggregate levels of human capital. Our main results are robust to the inclusion of additional variables and the use of alternative estimators in the regression analysis. Overall, this study confirms that the expansion of a low-tech sector such as tourism may be a valuable strategy for development. But it also suggests that an increase in human capital endowments is always beneficial, even when the development strategy focuses on the expansion of a (successful) unskilled sector.

Citation Key2776
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