The investigation into the direct effect of export type on an expanded conception of societal progress such as human development has received little attention in terms of empirical research. As part of the globalisation process, the export type can be a fundamental element in fostering human development. This study investigates the effects of export type on human development for the period 2009 to 2014 in a sample of 107 countries, chosen in terms of the magnitude of their exports of high technology products, fuel, ores and agricultural raw materials. Using a reduced form equation explaining human development and adopting the fixed, random and instrumental variable methods of estimation; the exports of fuel, ores and high technology products are confirmed to be positively and statistically significantly correlated (r = 0.020 for fuel; 0.050 for ores and 0.090 for high technology goods) with human development. The findings reveal that the export-type variables among others, satisfactorily explain human development with a coefficient of determination ranging from 0.460 (high technology exports), 0.600 (ore exports) and 0.710 (fuel exports). The main policy implication of these findings in that countries adopting export diversification such as producing goods with high technological content can bring about improvements in human development.
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