Sociology Index


When World Bank President Jim Yong Kim announced the Human Capital Project, world leaders gathered in Washington to discuss the critical importance of investing in people and to prepare countries for the economy of the future.

Human Capital Project discussed every topic from why the world needs a Human Capital Index to link key investments in people to economic growth, to how to finance high-impact investments in people. Speakers at the Human Capital Project provided unique perspectives. Human Capital Project concluded that building human capital is definitely a project for the world, and one that requires a global team effort from donors, policymakers and citizens. Political Capital is built only on a foundation of Social Capital and human Capital.

"Social capital" is an analogous term to "human capital" which was itself created by analogy to the term "physical capital." - Michael B. Spring.

According to Adam Smith, human capital is skills, dexterity and judgment. A country's ability to learn from the leader is a function of its stock of "human capital". The concept of human capital goes back to Adam Smith. The study of human capital is very much historical.

Human Capital is the talents and capabilities that individuals contribute to the process of production. Human capital also refers to the sum total of skills and knowledge embodied in the ability to perform labor so as to produce economic value. Companies, governments and individuals can invest in this human ‘capital’ just as they can invest in technology and buildings or in finances. Human capital can be acquired through formal schooling and on-the-job training. There is a complex relationship between the division of labor and human capital.

The human capital in an organization consists of the workers in an organization. There are a variety of measures by which human capital might be measured. Intertwined with the human capital would seem to be another kind of capital. 

Becker's book entitled Human Capital, 1964, became a standard reference for many years. Human capital is similar to "physical means of production." One can invest in human capital and one's outputs depend on the rate of return on the human capital one owns.

Human Capital Abstracts

Human Capital Development Theory: Implications for Education - Comparison of Influential Twenty-First Century Economists Samuel Bowles and Gary S. Becker. By ANGELA FANTOM KERN.
Abstract: This paper compares the work of two contemporary economists who made significant contributions to human capital theory. Two reoccurring themes in the work of Becker and Bowles with regards to modern human capital theory are examined.