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Human capital: Human capital refers to the skills, knowledge, experience, and abilities possessed by individuals within a workforce. It encompasses the qualities and expertise that contribute to economic productivity and growth, emphasizing the value of education, training, and health in enhancing an individual's potential contribution to an organization or society. See also Economy, Humans, Progress, Knowledge, Science, Education, Labour.
Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Economic Theories on Human Capital - Dictionary of Arguments

Mause I 510f
Human Capital/Education Policy/Economic Theories: At the centre of educational economic studies is the concept of human capital (Becker 1962 (1); Mincer 1962(2); Oi 1962(3)).
, >Education policy, >Income.
In his book "Prosperity of Nations", Adam Smith (1776) already formed analogies between abilities and qualifications into physical capital.
>A. Smith.
The modern version of what is discussed today under human capital theory began in the 1960s. At that time, attempts were made to explain the different effectiveness of tangible investments in industrialised and developing countries (see Sesselmeier et al. 2010 for an overview) (5).
Human Capital theory is an extension of the neoclassical economic model.
>Neoclassical economics.
Human Capital/Becker: the homogeneity of the factor labour is dissolved into a new inhomogeneity (Becker 1992, 1993a, b.) (6)(7). Demanders for human capital, as well as demanders for other forms of capital and for the production factors work and land, are companies, the state and other employers. The core of human capital theory is the view that human capital increases the productivity of an actor and that increased productivity results in higher income for the actor and growth of the economy as a whole.
Question: how is the amount of human capital and its overall economic impact determined?
Solution: Comparison of costs and benefits of education expenditure.
Narrow view: Investments in human capital are only those actions that will increase productivity in the future.
Individual: An individual's human capital stock is the stock of productive skills and abilities that result in a flow of income.
Human Capital/David Friedman/Economic Theory: "Human capital is assets created through investment in education and training that are initially immaterial and can later lead to higher future incomes. The main difference to the real capital is that it is neither transferable at will, nor can it be lent or used as collateral without difficulty". (Friedman 1999, p. 450).
Human capital is provided by private households. They make their human capital available to customers (companies, the state) and thus generate income. Individuals themselves decide on their school education or vocational training by weighing costs and benefits.
By investing in education, the productivity of the labour provider is increased. The wage then corresponds to the marginal productivity of the work.

1. Becker, Gary S. 1962. Investment in human capital: A theoretical analysis. Journal of Political Economy 70: 9– 49.
2. Mincer, Jacob. 1962. On-the-job training: Costs, returns and some implications. Journal of Political Economy 70( Supplement): 50– 79.
3. Oi, Walter Y. 1962. Labor as a Quasi-fixed factor. Journal of Political Economy 70: 538– 555.
4. Smith, Adam. 1776. An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, London; deutsche Übersetzung: Der Wohlstand der Nationen. Eine Untersuchung seiner Natur und seiner Ursachen. München 1974.
5. Sesselmeier, Werner, Funk Lothar, und Bernd Waas, Arbeitsmarkttheorien, 3.   Aufl. Heidelberg 2010.
6. Gary S. Becker, Menschliches Dasein aus ökonomischer Sicht. Nobel-Lesung vom 9. Dezember 1992. In Die Nobelpreisträger der ökonomischen Wissenschaft, Hrsg. Karl-Dieter Grüske, Vol. III, 206– 236. Düsseldorf 1992
7. Gary. S. Becker 1993 Human capital. A theoretical and empirical analysis with special references to education, 3. ed. Chicago: NBER..
8. David Friedman, Der ökonomische Code. Wie wirtschaftliches Denken unser Handeln bestimmt. Frankfurt a. M. 1999.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Economic Theories
Mause I
Karsten Mause
Christian Müller
Klaus Schubert,
Politik und Wirtschaft: Ein integratives Kompendium Wiesbaden 2018

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