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L'économie de l'éducation fait-elle des progrès? Une perspective d'histoire de la pensée économique

Jean-Luc De Meulemeester

Brussels Economic Review, 2007, vol. 50, issue 1, 89-111

Abstract: In this paper we propose a broad survey of the main trends in the history of economic thought relative to education and human capital and try to assess whether progress has been made or not. If the main intuitions regarding the link between education and the economy were already present at the end of the 18th century, the main developments occurred mainly after WW2. We highlight the great dominant themes since the end of the 50s, showing both a kind of cyclical pattern in terms of the confidence in the beneficial role of education for the economy, as well as a continuous progress relativising the sometimes rather simple arguments of the (early) human capital school. Both an increased ‘historical’ awareness (role of institutions, path dependency) and the availability of larger individual datasets (allowing the econometricians to account for factors traditionally dealt with by sociologists) contributed since the 80s to the development of an economics of education that could contribute to sound social and economic policy recommandations.

Keywords: education; growth; labour market; history of economic thought; éducation; croissance; marché du travail; histoire de la pensée économique (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:bxr:bxrceb:y:2007:v:50:i:1:p:89-111