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Human Capital: an Institutional Economics point of view


  • Germana Bottone



Human capital is usually defined as “The aggregation of investments, such as education and on the job training that improves the individual’s productivity in the labour market”. The initial definition did not take into account some central aspects of “human capital”, owing to a supposed analogy with physical capital. But even though, from an economic point of view, there are some similarities, human beings are more complex than automatic machines. More recently, it has been attempted to articulate a more extensive definition of “human capital” by considering all the attributes embodied in individuals relevant to economic activity”. Nevertheless, the evolution of human capital definition is in some way restricted to its economic meaning, neglecting the intrinsic complexity of the concept that demands an in-depth re-examination of its social and cultural value. In order to achieve deeper understanding of the multiplicity of aspects making up human capital, we are going to make use of the main concepts of institutional and evolutionary economics..

Suggested Citation

  • Germana Bottone, 2008. "Human Capital: an Institutional Economics point of view," ISAE Working Papers 107, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY).
  • Handle: RePEc:isa:wpaper:107

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Human capital; Institutional Economics; lifelong learning; Institutional quality;

    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

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