Economic development in Japan prior to World War II involved the expansion of labor intensive manufacturing industries that employed a large proportion of women. This was accompanied by the growth in vocational education for women as well as for men. Was the growth in vocational education, especially of women, a result of the economic expansion or a cause? In the postwar period vocational education for women grew slightly, while that for men declined. Was this caused by continued economic growth or did vocational education, especially for women, play a causal role in postwar economic growth? This paper attempts to address these questions using a recently available data set and utilizing the vector error correction methodology. The results indicate that vocational education, especially of females, played a causal role. Thus vocational education may be important in the early stages of growth for today’s developing nations.