Sociology Index


Human Capital Accumulation, Capital, Capitalism

Capital accumulation is the process of accumulating resources for use in the production of goods and services. Private capital accumulation occurs when productive capacity exceeds the immediate needs for consumption. A farmer can accumulate capital (stored grains, improved equipment) during years of good harvests and good farm revenues.

Generally, accumulation is directly linked to profitability: the resources used to make commodities can be replaced and augmented when the commodity is sold for a profit.

Capital accumulation can also take place in the public sector, where, from a structuralist approach within a conflict perspective, the state is seen as performing the function of aiding in the accumulation of private capital.

This function may be performed by the state providing an educated work force (human capital), building rail lines into resource areas, maintaining a legal system to resolve contract disputes and providing tax incentives or tax breaks. Capital is accumulation of goods or wealth used for the production of other goods and services rather than for immediate or personal use.

If a computer is used just to play games, then it is not considered capital. If a computer is used to generate revenue it can be considered capital. Capital is central to a capitalist economic system.

Other than economic or financial capital, we also have human capital, social capital or individual capital.

Diverging Waves of Capital Accumulation, Black Capital Formation and the Specificities of Black Capitalism: From B.T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, to Harold Washington and Beyond - Thomas, Darryl - Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association 67th Annual National Conference
Abstract: This paper examines the Golden Age of Black Capitalism with the making of US Empire in the 19th/20th centuries and the recent 21st century US Empire. It draws attention divergent waves of capital accumulation and the segregationist economic models and Jim Crow Business models they spawn as well as the post-Fordist and globalization model of black capital formation.

Capital Accumulation and Growth: A New Look at the Empirical Evidence
Bond, Steve, Asli Leblebicioglu, Fabio Schiantarelli
Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
Abstract: We present evidence that an increase in investment as a share of GDP predicts a higher growth rate of output per worker, not only temporarily, but also in the steady state. These results are found using pooled annual data for a large panel of countries, using pooled data for non-overlapping five-year periods, or allowing for heterogeneity across countries in regression coefficients. The evidence that investment has a long-run effect on growth rates is consistent with the main implication of certain endogenous growth models, such as the AK model.

Capital accumulation and unemployment: new insights on the Nordic experience
Marika Karanassou, Hector Sala and Pablo F. Salvador
Cambridge Journal of Economics Advance Access published online on June 16, 2008.
This paper takes a fresh look at the analysis of labour market dynamics and argues that capital accumulation plays a fundamental role in determining unemployment movements. This role has generally been examined by considering indirect transmission channels of the capital stock effects, i.e. using variables like interest rates or investment ratios in the NAIRU framework. Here we advocate a different approach.