Economic Aspects of Manpower Training Programs: Theory and Policy

Economic Aspects of Manpower Training Programs: Theory and Policy

Economic Aspects of Manpower Training Programs: Theory and Policy

Economic Aspects of Manpower Training Programs: Theory and Policy

Excerpt

The hope of changing the current trends in manpower policy and research is the basic reason for writing this book. Manpower policy seems to be aimed increasingly toward providing direct help for disadvantaged workers, a purpose which, I feel, can only in the long run be wasteful, increase social conflict, and hurt the disadvantaged themselves. In the area of research the large majority of work has been performed using institutional analysis rather than the framework of standard economic analysis. I feel that economic theory has a substantial role to play in both the definition of what manpower policy should be and evaluation of existing policy. The book should provide a stimulus for additional research in this vein and for greater interest on the part of economic theorists in the problems of manpower training.

No attempt is made here to recount the vicissitudes of legislation relating to manpower training in the United States. The reader should, however, have some familiarity with past and current legislation in order to follow some of the discussion. An excellent short reference on this subject is Garth Mangum , The Emergence of Manpower Policy (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1969).

In order to preserve the reader's sanity some uniformity of mathematical notation is necessary. Throughout the text parentheses () denote functions, while brackets [ ] and braces { } denote that the term within brackets is to be multiplied or raised to a power.

In any endeavor of this sort there are large numbers of people who either directly or indirectly shape the author's thinking about his topic. Especially helpful to me in this respect have been Robert Goldfarb and Albert Rees, each of whom read the entire manuscript at one stage or another and offered suggestions which greatly improved the substance of the work. My colleagues, Orley Ashenfelter, Ray Fair, Frederick Harbison, Robinson Hollister, Ronald Oaxaca, and Michael Taussig, as well as Michael Borus of Michigan State University each read parts of the manuscript and provided suggestions which forced me to think through more clearly the arguments in the text. Participants in seminars at Yale University, Princeton University, the Technion of Israel, and the American Association of Agricultural Economics stimulated my thinking in several areas related to manpower training. Part of Chapter 3, appeared in the American Economic Review and engendered several useful comments.

This work is dependent upon both bibliographical sources and the use of computer facilities; and my research assistants and the librarians in Firestone Library provided yeoman service. Peter Maruhnic and John Wengrovius did . . .

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