Economic growth and the unique role of specific degrees: Evidence from El Paso

Mubarak Laminu, University of Texas at El Paso


The principal intellectual impetus behind the conjecture of economic growth has arguably been provided by human capital theory. Virtually most economic growth models have implemented the production function to substantiate the premises that human capital development contributes to economic growth. Economists became attentive to the possibility of factors that improve the productivity of production inputs as it was observed over time in the case of the United States that economic output was growing at a faster rate than labor and capital inputs. This residual effect has widely been attributed to human capital development. The question arises as to the role of specific degrees and certification programs in the dynamics of economic growth. This paper explores the possibility of measuring the impact of specific degree and certification programs offered by The El Paso Community College and The University of Texas at El Paso on the economic growth of the city of El Paso. ^ The findings are such that: (1) Higher education as a whole in El Paso or human capital development has an elastic and a statistically significant impact on El Paso's economic output (RGMP Per Capita). (2) A regression to isolate the impact of specific degrees and certifications showed inelastic and insignificant responses in economic growth (RGMP Per Capita) with regards to changes in any of the components (specific degrees) of El Paso's human capital development, holding all the other degree types constant. (3) Separate regressions testing each specific degree as a proxy for human capital development yielded statistically significant but inelastic slope coefficients except in the case of two year certification programs at the El Paso Community College. ^

Subject Area

Economics, General|Economics, Labor|Economics, Theory

Recommended Citation

Laminu, Mubarak, "Economic growth and the unique role of specific degrees: Evidence from El Paso" (2007). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1444108.