Human Capital in HistoryThe American Record

Human Capital in HistoryThe American Record

Leah Platt Boustan, Carola Frydman, and Robert A. Margo

Print publication date: 2015

ISBN: 9780226163895

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


This volume honors the contributions Claudia Goldin has made to scholarship and teaching in economic history and labor economics. The chapters address some closely integrated issues: the role of human capital in the long-term development of the American economy, trends in fertility and marriage, and women’s participation in economic change. Specific topics include change over time in the relative demand for skilled labor and its relationship to technical progress; factors affecting the growth in the supply of high school graduates since World War Two; human capital investment in immigrant families; long-term changes in complementarities between investment in schooling and health; cross-country differences in the relationship between female labor force participation and economic development; the evolution of racial differences in female labor force participation from the end of the Civil War to today; changes in the relative costs and benefits of cohabitation versus marriage and their relationship to childbearing after mid-twentieth century; differences in the nature of fertility decline in the early versus the late twentieth century and implications for economic and social development; and changes in beliefs about women’s role in the economy and their impact on female labor force participation, occupational choice, and investment in human capital.