The Human Economy

The Human Economy

The Human Economy

The Human Economy

Excerpt

During the last thirty-seven years, the Conservation of Human Resources Project at Columbia University has been engaged in research on human resources and manpower. During this extended interdisciplinary effort, my colleagues and I have sought to illuminate, primarily through empirical investigations, critical aspects of the development and utilization of human resources in both developed and developing nations. We have investigated the effect of unemployment on individuals, the underdevelopment of potential among minorities, the causes of ineffective performance in the military, talent and performance, the life styles of educated women, and other facets of human resources in economic and social life. Because the human resources factor had not previously been explored in depth, we made a major commitment to empirical research.

Our efforts to construct theory were limited. In the early 1950s, our work entitled Occupational Choice carried the subtitle An Approach to a General Theory. In the mid-1960s, our study entitled The Pluralistic Economy provided a new framework for studying the enlarged entrepreneurial roles of both government and nonprofit institutions. The complementarity among the three sectors--private, nonprofit, and government--suggested this new approach for studying the functioning of the American economy. In 1971, the introductory and concluding chapters of Manpower for Development:
Perspectives on Five Continents
called attention to the lessons which could be extracted from the efforts of developing nations to force the pace of their economic growth by improving the quality of their human resources.

It is questionable whether, without the prodding of my junior colleague and collaborator Alfred S. Eichner, I would have ventured on the present effort. He not only insisted that I explicate the theory which I have . . .

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