Can human capital variables be technology changing? An empirical test for rural households in Burkina Faso
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In this article, we assess the role that human capital indicators play as technology changing variables in smallholder households in Burkina Faso. We use recent nationally representative household level data and regression analysis to empirically assess the role of weight-for-height, formal education and age of adult household members active in agriculture, in smallholder production. Recognizing the endogeneity of weight-for-height and variable inputs, we use instrumental variables regression and model the coefficients in the production function as functions of human capital variables. Our results reveal that human capital indicators can indeed be considered as technology-changing affecting both the slope and the intercept of the production function. Weight-for-height enhances returns to land but negatively affects returns to female labor. Formal education enhances the productivity of male labor but negatively affects returns to land. Differentiating households by landholding quintiles reveals that the technology changing role of human capital variables is much more evident for households with larger landholdings.
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