This paper shows that an accelerated increase in educational attainments in many East Asian countries derives from a dramatic augmentation of working population with vocational education relative to general education. This is consistent with the recent literature, which argues that the ratio of vocational-to-general education tends to be higher in middle-income countries. We explore an analytical approach to open up fresh insights into the composition of secondary education and prove the existence of optimal trajectory that ensures a positive expansion rate of secondary education at early stage of development. Also, we demonstrate that the actual path of vocational-to-general education in Taiwan is very similar to what can be defined by optimal policy for secondary education, which has resulted in a rapid increase in average years of schooling since 1978.
Employment Economic growth Education Human Capital