Versione di lingua italiana
Deutsch Sprachenversion
English language version
Choose language:

» Economics » Economic theory » Topics begins with H » Human capital theory

Page modified: Wednesday, July 13, 2011 03:52:02

Human capital theory one calls investigations of resources education (human capital) under economic aspects. In particular it concerns thereby the measurement of overall economic effects of an improved education. This connection is usually measured over a comparison by costs and use of the expenditures for education.

Historical development

Already Adam Smith manufactured a direct connection between the training and the efficiency of workers: Education helped ton increase the productive capacity OF workers in the same way as the purchase OF new machinery or OTHER form OF physical capital increased the productive capacity OF A factory or OTHER enterprise

An important number of scientific work was published starting from the 1960er years: Theodore Schultz is regarded as one of the fathers of the modern human capital theory. Further important work comes among other things from Gary Becker and Robert Solow. As Solow model admits become neoclassical development model is to model much-used today to the explanation of the bases of economic growth. It postulates that the only on a long-term basis relevant measured variable is on the growth of a national economy the technical progress. This again presses itself out in a higher productivity, which v. A. can be achieved by a better education.

The scientific work in the context of the human capital theory attained great importance; Schultz received the Wirtschaftsnobelpreis 1979, to Solow 1987 and Becker 1992. Also different was or is in the range of the human capital theory actively - so for example January Tinbergen (Nobelpreis 1969) or Milton Friedman (Nobelpreis 1976).

Criticism at the human capital theory

Also in the sociological research a high attention is given to the capital term. Pierre Bourdieu criticized the economiceconomics human capital term, since he was too close, in order to be able to describe social unequal conditions, since he is only on the economic capital concentrated and thus directly in monetary values expressable. Therefore Bourdieu accepted also the cultural and the social economics beside the economic and beside that economic capital also the cultural capital (e.g. Education title) and [[social Kapital|soziale capital (e.g. Profits from the affiliation too more or less outstanding or influential families) differentiated. To later writings Bourdieu introduces further kinds of capital, which represent however usually more special forms of cultural or social capital.

So that the capital can unfold its effect full, it must be recognized and recognized by others, then it is called of Bourdieu symbolic capital (this to be able for instance to doctor titles with the cultural capital, titles of nobility with the social capital or luxury goods with economic capital represent), for which always one of the fundamental three other kinds of capital is the basis.


  • Gary S. Becker: The economic beginning for the explanation of human behavior, Mohr, 1993, ISBN 3-16-146046-4
  • Theodore Schultz: The economic VALUE OF education. Studies into the economics OF education, Elgar Books, Aldershot 1992, ISBN 1-85278-542-X
  • Robert Solow: A Contribution ton the Theory OF Economic Growth, in: Quarterly journal OF Economics, 70 (1956), P. 65-94
  • Maureen Woodhall: Human Capital Concepts, in: George Psacharopoulos: Economics OF Education: Research and Studies, Pergamon press, Oxford 1995, ISBN 0-08-033379-6

Related links

Articles in category "Human capital theory"

We found here 5 articles.


» Haavelmo theorem
» Harvard school
» Historical school
» Human capital theory
» Hysteresis

Page cached: Tuesday, May 26, 2015 15:32:16
Valid XHTML 1.0!  Valid CSS!

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape