New Directions in Human Capital Theory

Birmingham Business School Room G13
Thursday 25 June (11:00) - Friday 26 June 2015 (17:00)

For more information contact:

Stan Siebert, Birmingham Business School
Mary O’Mahony, Kings College London
Fiona Carmichael, Birmingham Business School 

The Centre for Research on the Economy and the Workplace (CREW)
The Work, Employment and Labour Markets group

The Work Wealth and Wellbeing Network

  • View the full two-day agenda for this workshop (PDF - 158KB)

In the current economic climate, one of the major challenges faced by societies is to maintain a workforce sufficiently and appropriately skilled and educated to compete in the global economy. Within countries there is also an imperative to maintain and raise employability by upgrading skills, retraining and better matching of people, skills and jobs. This is in often in the context of nationally diverse and ageing workforces with wide differentials in human capital investment and the rewards to such investments, inequality in access to human capital development, diverse skill needs and unequal access to on-the-job training. The UK in particular, has not been successful in raising the educational attainment of individuals from poorer families. The result is an education divide that results in the better educated having more training opportunities, securing better jobs, earning more and experiencing greater wellbeing.

Addressing these issues is likely to require some re-thinking of Human Capital Theory including consideration of new perspectives on what kinds of human capital are needed, how human capital is valued, how and when human capital can and should be acquired and by whom and how it is measured. 

The workshop objective is to explore new perspectives on human capital that extend the orthodox conceptualisation that embodies education, skill and experience.  Theoretical, applied and policy papers equally welcome.

Workshop topics and themes

(1)     Conceptualising, measuring and valuing different forms of human capital

(2)     Matching skills to technologies in the information age

(3)     Non pecuniary benefits of education – “beyond wages”

(4)     Differential access to human capital and barriers to human capital development

(5)     Cumulative advantages and disadvantages in human capital acquisition

(6)     Vulnerability and resilience to human capital depreciation.

(7)     Investing in human capital over the life-course

(8)     Gender,  human capital development and labour market outcomes

(9)     Cohort changes in human capital investment and their consequences

A contribution to speakers’ travel costs and accommodation costs will be made by Birmingham Business School.