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Policies to Foster Human Capital

James Heckman

No 7288, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: This paper considers the sources of skill formation in a modern economy and emphasizes the importance of both cognitive and noncognitive skills in producing economic and social success and the importance of both formal academic institutions and families and firms as sources of learning. Skill formation is a dynamic process with strong synergistic components. Skill begets skill. Early investment promotes later investment. Noncognitive skills and motivation are important determinants of success and these can be improved more successfully and at later ages than basic cognitive skills. Methods currently used to evaluate educational interventions ignore these noncogntive skills and therefore substantially understate the benefits of early intervention programs and mentoring and teenage motivation programs. At current levels of investment, American society underinvests in the very young and overinvests in mature adults with low skills.

JEL-codes: D33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm, nep-edu, nep-ind, nep-lab and nep-pub
Date: 1999-08
Note: LS PE CH
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
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Published as Heckman, James J., 2000. "Policies to foster human capital," Research in Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 3-56, March.
Published as James Heckman, 2011. "Policies to foster human capital," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 3, pages 73-137.

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Journal Article: Policies to foster human capital (2011) Downloads
Journal Article: Policies to foster human capital (2000) Downloads
Working Paper: Policies to Foster Human Capital (2000) Downloads
Working Paper: Policies to Foster Human Capital (2000)
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