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Inequality in America: What Role for Human Capital Policies?

Editor

Listed:
  • Benjamin M. Friedman
    ()

    (Harvard University)

Author

Listed:
  • James J. Heckman

    () (University of Chicago)

  • Alan B. Krueger

    () (Princeton University)

Abstract

The surge of inequality in income and wealth in the United States over the past twenty-five years has reversed the steady progress toward greater equality that had been underway throughout most of the twentieth century. This economic development has defied historical patterns and surprised many economists, producing vigorous debate. Inequality in America: What Role for Human Capital Policies? examines the ways in which human capital policies can address this important problem. Taking it as a given that potentially low-income workers would benefit from more human capital in the form of market skills and education, James Heckman and Alan Krueger discuss which policies would be most effective in providing it: should we devote more resources to the entire public school system, or to specialized programs like Head Start? Would relaxing credit restraints encourage more students to attend college? Does vocational training actually work? What is the best balance of private and public sector programs? The book preserves the character of the symposium at which the papers were originally presented, recreating its atmosphere of lively debate. It begins with separate arguments by Krueger and Heckman (writing with Pedro Carneiro), which are followed by comments from other economists. Krueger and Heckman and Carneiro then offer separate responses to the comments and final rejoinders.

Suggested Citation

  • James J. Heckman & Alan B. Krueger, 2005. "Inequality in America: What Role for Human Capital Policies?," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582600 edited by Benjamin M. Friedman, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262582600
    as

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dominik Sachs & Sebastian Findeisen, 2016. "Optimal Financial Aid Policies for Students," 2016 Meeting Papers 1421, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Melissa S. Kearney & Phillip B. Levine, 2015. "Early Childhood Education by MOOC: Lessons from Sesame Street," NBER Working Papers 21229, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Findeisen, Sebastian & Sachs, Dominik, 2014. "Education Policies and Taxation without Commitment," Working Papers 14-16, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    4. Daniela Del Boca & Silvia Pasqua & Simona Suardi, 2016. "Child Care, Maternal Employment, and Children’s School Outcomes. An Analysis of Italian Data," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 32(2), pages 211-229, May.
    5. Findeisen, Sebastian & Sachs, Dominik, 2015. "Designing efficient college and tax policies," Working Papers 15-09, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    6. Arthur Sakamoto & Jason Rarick & Hyeyoung Woo & Sharron Wang, 2014. "What underlies the Great Gatsby Curve? Psychological micro-foundations of the “vicious circle” of poverty," Mind & Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Springer;Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 13(2), pages 195-211, November.
    7. Urvi Neelakantan & Ivan Vidangos & Felicia Ionescu & Kartik Athreya, 2016. "Investment Opportunities and the Sources of Lifetime Inequality," 2016 Meeting Papers 1177, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    8. Wennberg, Karl & Stadin, Evelina & Bergström, Andreas, 2014. "How policy could handle workplace digitization," Ratio Working Papers 237, The Ratio Institute.
    9. El-Osta, Hisham S., 2011. "The Impact of Human Capital on Farm Operator Household Income," Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 40(1), April.
    10. Findeisen, Sebastian & Sachs, Dominik, 2016. "Education and optimal dynamic taxation: The role of income-contingent student loans," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 138(C), pages 1-21.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    inequality; human capital policies;

    JEL classification:

    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • N32 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy

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