Investing in people in the twenty-first century

Education, health, and migration

Authored by: Wallace E. Huffman

The Routledge Handbook of Agricultural Economics

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138654235
eBook ISBN: 9781315623351
Adobe ISBN:


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The field of human capital was launched about a half century ago. It is concerned with investments in people – education, health, on-the-job training, migration, and knowledge. All of these investments involve costs up front and benefits that follow. Since 1980, major shifts in the U.S. labor market have occurred: a growing demand for labor in high skilled services and good-producing industries; a decline in demand for goods producing intermediate skilled workers; and some growth in demand for low-skilled service workers. Unfortunately, workers have not been prepared to make these shifts in labor demand, leading some to encounter long-term unemployment, and employers to have unfilled positions. New policies are needed to help these individuals find new jobs that lead to productive work and lives.

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