Back to top anchor
Working paper

Adult literacy and economic growth (WP 04/24)

Issue date: 
Wednesday, 15 December 2004
View point: 
Publication category: 
JEL classification: 
I21 - Analysis of Education
J31 - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
J60 - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers: General
O40 - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity: General

Formats and related files

This paper looks at whether an increase in the basic literacy skills of adults would have a positive effect on the New Zealand economy.


I am indebted to a number of people who read and commented on versions of this paper and in particular to Anna Vignoles, Sholeh Maani, Les Oxley, Paul Callister, Hazel Barnes, Barbara Annesley, Bronwyn Croxson, Jeremy Corban, Ruth Isaac and Dean Hyslop. I have also benefited greatly from discussions on adult literacy with Katherine Percy, Susan Reid, Ruth Schick, John Benseman and Alison Sutton. Paul Satherley from the Ministry of Education kindly made available the IALS dataset for New Zealand.


The views, opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Working Paper are strictly those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the New Zealand Treasury. The Treasury takes no responsibility for any errors or omissions in, or for the correctness of, the information contained in these working papers. The paper is presented not as policy, but with a view to inform and stimulate wider debate.

Last updated: 
Tuesday, 23 October 2007