This course examines the economic relevance of human capital, broadly conceived, and discusses the economic theories and institutions relevant to the production and exploitation of health and human capital in the economy. Drawing on writings from multiple Nobel laureates in economics, we begin by defining and categorizing different types of human capital, including health and skill-based capital, and then consider the economic importance of human capital both to the individual and to society. We discuss human capital production and investment decisions, examine the role and consequences of related institutions like health insurance markets and private schooling, and explore the connections between human capital and the labour market. The course is framed around a set of readings from the economics literature drawn from different times and various subfields of economics, illustrating the pervasive role of human capital in any economy.
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