This thesis examines the role of human capital in the growth and convergence of the
Iberian countries. Using a newly computed series for human capital at the NUTS III
level for the Portuguese regions, the comparison between Portugal and Spain suggests
a positive role for human capital proxied by the average years of schooling in both
Iberian countries regional growth, which supports the hypothesis that higher levels of
education improved the regions‟ ability to adopt new technology; although the levels
of education indicate that secondary schooling is important for technology adoption
in Portugal, but not in Spain, and its effect is higher than that of tertiary education.
Using Exploratory Spatial Data Analysis (ESDA), two convergence clubs are
identified within the Iberia Peninsula (Core and Periphery), but convergence occurs
mainly in the Periphery group and education plays a positive and significant role only
in the Core club.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.