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Generic and Specific Skills as Components of Human Capital: New Challenges for Education Theory and Practice

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  • Yaroslav Kuzminov

    () (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia)

  • Pavel Sorokin

    () (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia)

  • Isak Froumin

    () (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Russia)

Abstract

Human capital theory in recent decades has become the basis for educational policy in many developed countries. Expert discussions, however, often undervalue research findings and developments related to this theory that since the 1970s have consistently enriched understanding of how human capital contributes to personal well-being and socioeconomic development of society as a whole. Educational policy lags behind these elaborations, which leads to a decline in the impact of education upon development worldwide. In the 21st century, fundamentally new trends in socioeconomic dynamics pose unprecedented challenges for educational systems around the world, including Russia. Despite the quantitative growth of money and time spent on education, performance per unit of education costs has fallen. The human potential, created by education, is facing more and more difficulties in its capitalization: economic growth is slowing down at both at the country level and globally. This situation brings to life new attempts to claim insignificance of education for economic growth and for individual success. So far, these attempts have not been very influential in educational policy, but in many countries, such arguments already serve as a backdrop for budget decisions that are detrimental for education. Educational systems need to complement practices that contribute to the development of human capital. In this regard, several theoretical elaborations that have not yet became part of the mainstream discussion on human capital, could be helpful for understanding the role of human capital in socioeconomic progress and possible ways to improve it in the short and long term.

Suggested Citation

  • Yaroslav Kuzminov & Pavel Sorokin & Isak Froumin, 2019. "Generic and Specific Skills as Components of Human Capital: New Challenges for Education Theory and Practice," Foresight and STI Governance (Foresight-Russia till No. 3/2015), National Research University Higher School of Economics, vol. 13(2), pages 19-41.
  • Handle: RePEc:hig:fsight:v:13:y:2019:i:2:p:19-41
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    human capital; hard skills; soft skills; generic skills; labor markets; demand for skills; educational policy; entrepreneurship;

    JEL classification:

    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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