Menu

Adult education and Innovation

Study
Dr. Dieter Dohmen

Adult education and Innovation

Study

Internal authors:

Dr. Dieter Dohmen

Publication Date:

Publisher:

FIBS

Place:

Berlin

Involvement in adult education is in the importance of the European Union agenda, especially with fast changing demand for skills and competence and raising migration pressure in EU. Our study demonstrates the importance of work-based cognitive skills in explaining the diversity in the economic performance of European countries. This represents our major contribution to the debate. There is less investigation of impact of adult learning to innovation, especially supported by data and cross-country analysis. The research is concerned with ‘human capital’ and ‘innovation’ studies and the importance of working environment for innovation. We aim to investigate: the importance of adult education/learning in improving the capabilities of individuals and organizations, hence contributing to growth and innovation benefits in Europe. While some authors tried to quantify the return on formal education to economic growth, mainly suggesting the long-term impact and using years of schooling as a relevant proxy. Generally admitted that investments in education bring long term returns, especially primary and secondary education. There is a lot of attention given to early phases of education as in general policy concerns (“United Nations Millennium Development Goals,” 2000) and in relation to economic growth (Hanushek & Woessmann, 2012) while adult learning considerations in policy agenda is still lagging. However, in the fast-changing environment with increased life span and rising demands for skills we attempt to prove that we can reach short-term increased output and innovation if adult education provision is implemented. This paper’s contribution resides in a new effort to raise the adult education issue. In this regard, innovation studies may offer a complementary approach to growth literature, where benefits of working environment and adult skills are discussed considerably, while growth literature can complement innovation studies in their approach of statistical modelling.