The Influence of Primary Market Growth on Human Capital Development: A Comparison of Regional and Individual Outcomes
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The purpose of this study is to gauge the influence of local/regional labor market conditions on educational outcomes, using human capital and dual labor markets as guiding theories. To gain an understanding of how growth in multiple labor market tiers and various occupation types influence local human capital development as well as students’ decisions to invest in their own human capital; two modeling approaches are utilized. First, the association between local employment growth by labor market tier and aggregate human capital development is evaluated. Second, occupations found to significantly influence local human capital development are transferred to models gauging the educational attainment of individual respondents. Results indicate primary market employment growth has a positive impact on the number of county residents with a high school, Associate’s, and Bachelor’s degree. At the individual-level, primary market growth increased the likelihood of earning a high school and Associate’s degree but did not influence the odds of earning a Bachelor’s degree.