The rise of human capital theory


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Today, human capital theory dominates the study of personal income. But this has not always been so. In this essay, I chart the rise of human capital theory, and compare it to the rise (and fall) of eugenics. The comparison, I argue, is an apt one. Eugenics and human capital theory both focus on isolated traits of individuals. By doing so, both theories neglect the social nature of human behavior.


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