Ralph Hippe was recently awarded the Best Dissertation Prize by the Franco-German University for his PhD thesis in Economics on “Human capital formation in Europe at the regional level – implications for economic growth”, written at University of Strasbourg, BETA/CNRS (France) and University of Tübingen (Germany). The prize ceremony took place in the presence of the French ambassador to Germany, Philippe Etienne, at the French Embassy in Berlin on 21st November.

The thesis highlights the formation of human capital in the European regions and its implications for economic growth. It is characterised by its combined regional, long-term and European approach. Ralph refers to the Unified Growth Theory and New Economic Geography as the most important recent theoretical contributions and constructs an unparalleled new and large database on regional human capital and other economic factors from numerous diverse sources. For the empirical analysis, spatial and GIS methods are employed in addition to standard econometric models. In this way, the thesis explores human capital formation in the regions of the European continent between 1790 and 2010. Moreover, it underlines the relationship between human capital proxies, the determinants of human capital and the long-run impact of human capital on economic growth.

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