Progress without Poverty: Socially Responsible Economic Growth

By Peter S. Albin | Go to book overview

5
Education and Income
in a Growth Economy

WE have described education as the factor which makes possible technical progress and growth. But, as we have also seen, in an environment of "unbalanced growth" an activity such as education can be penalized in budgetary terms by the very growth that it creates. Over time these interactions in an unplanned system tend to inhibit growth, particularly the mythical sort of growth in which the pie is supposed to grow in order to provide a large slice for redistribution. The projection of decay in the growth impulse is obviously controversial and the phenomena involved require close examination and study. There are other reasons for controversy as well. In particular, the analysis of educational choice presented here differs substantively from the standard treatment of the problem—that which derives from the concept of "human capital" as refined by Becker and Blaug. 1


THE HUMAN-CAPITAL APPROACH TO
EDUCATION

According to conventional applications of the human-capital approach, education and skill development are looked at as ways of augmenting the basic productive capabilities of a worker. Implicitly, the human-capital analysis starts with the notion of a "minimal" man, a worker with the

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