NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Mystery of Human Capital as Engine of Growth, or Why the US Became the Economic Superpower in the 20th Century

Isaac Ehrlich

NBER Working Paper No. 12868
Issued in January 2007

---- Acknowledgements -----

The original version of this paper was presented as the author’s thesis lecture for his Honorary Doctorate from the Université d’Orleans, France, on October 1, 2002. It was later presented in the April 2003, NSF-supported interdisciplinary conference The Mystery of Capital and the New Philosophy of Social Reality held at UB and revised as NBER Working Paper No. 12868, 2007. It was also presented as the author’s Provost Lecture at SUNY Stony Brook on April 12, 2007. The author is indebted to Jinyoung Kim for collaboration on section 6.C of this paper, and to Robert King, Warren Sanderson, Eric Hanushek, Sam Peltzman, Claudia Goldin, Yong Yin, Serguey Braguinsky, and Zhiqiang Liu for valuable comments and suggestions on earlier drafts. Hyong-uk Kim, Xuezheng Qin, and Yiqun Wu provided dedicated research assistance. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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