Human Capital Policy
Pedro Carneiro () and
No 821, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)
This paper considers alternative policies for promoting skill formation that are targeted to different stages of the life cycle. We demonstrate the importance of both cognitive and noncognitive skills that are formed early in the life cycle in accounting for racial, ethnic and family background gaps in schooling and other dimensions of socioeconomic success. Most of the gaps in college attendance and delay are determined by early family factors. Children from better families and with high ability earn higher returns to schooling. We find only a limited role for tuition policy or family income supplements in eliminating schooling and college attendance gaps. At most 8% of American youth are credit constrained in the traditional usage of that term. The evidence points to a high return to early interventions and a low return to remedial or compensatory interventions later in the life cycle. Skill and ability beget future skill and ability. At current levels of funding, traditional policies like tuition subsidies, improvements in school quality, job training and tax rebates are unlikely to be effective in closing gaps.
Keywords: human capital; life cycle (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J31 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (490) Track citations by RSS feed
Published in: J. Heckman and A. Krueger, Inequality in America: What Role for Human Capital Policy?, MIT Press, 2003
Downloads: (external link)
Working Paper: Human Capital Policy (2003)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:iza:izadps:dp821
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in IZA Discussion Papers from Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Mark Fallak ().