Education in Italy: is there any return?
AbstractThe “return to education” issue has been widely investigated in the economic literature. However, how the social value of education can affect its economic return and individual decisions on “human capital” investments has been somewhat neglected. The paper criticises the traditional definition of human capital and the premises of Becker’s equation and considers the following questions: does education have a consistent return in Italy? If not, does education have any social value?. From an economic point of view and at a conceptual level, numerous difficulties arise when one seeks to define “human capital”. One may make a list of factors endogenous to an individual, such as education, training and ability, and of factors exogenous to him/her such as level of family education, social capital, system of relations, freedom of knowledge transmission, institutions. All of these factors may affect “human capital”. Moreover, the decision to invest in “human capital” may not be completely rational. Rationality would probably instead suggest on-the-job training and training. Education has a cultural, social and historical value; as a consequence, individuals may make decisions about the proper investment in education not only by considering marginal costs and future benefits of that investment, but for other reasons as well.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY) in its series ISAE Working Papers with number 109.
Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
human capital; bounded rationality; institutional economics.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-05-02 (All new papers)
- NEP-CBE-2009-05-02 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-EDU-2009-05-02 (Education)
- NEP-HRM-2009-05-02 (Human Capital & Human Resource Management)
- NEP-LAB-2009-05-02 (Labour Economics)
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