The Human Capital Approach to Education

Saumen Chattopadhyay

in Education and Economics

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780198082255
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199082070 | DOI:
The Human Capital Approach to Education

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This chapter initiates a discussion on human capital with a brief historical account of how economists over the years have dealt with education from an economic perspective. The main focus of the chapter is to provide an overview of the main tenets of the human capital approach as a major field of study and research which has been enriched by the pioneering contributions from Schultz, Becker, and Mincer. The concept of private and social rate of return and their usefulness in guiding investment decisions at the micro and macro level are examined critically. Mincerian wage equation and the demand–supply model of determination of human capital are discussed to highlight the linkages between investment in education, earnings, and income inequality.

Keywords: education; human capital; private rate of return; social rate of return; wage equation; income inequality; egalitarian approach; elite approach

Chapter.  13223 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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