Human Capital Policy
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Human Capital Policy

Reducing Inequality, Boosting Mobility and Productivity

Edited by David Neumark, Yong-seong Kim and Sang-Hyop Lee

This timely book evaluates international human capital policies, offering a comparative perspective on global efforts to generate new ideas and novel ways of thinking about human capital. Examining educational reforms, quality of education and links between education and socio-economic environments, chapters contrast Western experiences and perspectives with those of industrializing economies in Asia, focusing particularly on Korea and the USA.
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Chapter 9: Building labor market skills among disadvantaged US workers: four-year college degrees and alternatives

Harry J. Holzer


This chapter reviews recent empirical evidence on skill-building among low-income youth and adults in the United States. It focuses on skills and credentials that are well-rewarded in the labor market and the different means of attaining them. It reviews benefits and limitations of college attendance for disadvantaged youth and adults. It also considers alternatives to higher education (high-quality career and technical education, models of work-based learning and sectoral training for youth or adults. A caveat is that good post-secondary education and workforce programs will mostly not make up for poor K-12 academic preparation. The need for other policies to strengthen early education outcomes, or to provide incentives to and assist workers whose skills will remain very poor, remains in effect.

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