Human Capital. A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, with Special Reference to Education.

BECKER Gary S. (1964.)

£5000.00  [First Edition]

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First edition, first printing. 8vo. xvi, pp. Original blue cloth, spine lettered in gilt, dust jacket (heavily worn jacket, price unclipped, long closed tear to head of front panel, substantial portion of loss to lower edge of rear panel, notwithstanding a fair example of the elusive dust jacket). New York and London, Published by National Bureau of Economic Research, Distributed by Columbia University Press.

A presentation copy, inscribed by the author to his brother and sister-in-law in his familiar bold hand 'To Marvin and Marilyn, here is some bedtime reading, Gary' in blue ink to the front free endpaper.

Becker's most famous book - which is no small claim given the scale and diversity of his many contributions to economic science. In Human Capital he developed 'a general theory of human capital formation via schooling and labour training which served as the starting point for what has been aptly described as the "human investment revolution in economic thought", which swept over economics in 1960s' (Blaug).

"Although he was in uncertain territory in the early 1960s, the rational choice approach to human capital Becker pioneered has bequeathed what is today a 'uniform and generally applicable analytical framework' (Nobel Foundation, 2004). Becker’s starting point is to interpret the decisions by individuals to invest in their own capabilities through education, training, medical care and so on as turning on the balance of benefits and costs of such investments. This is not simply a narrow appeal to self-interest as individuals maximise welfare subjectively and they may be as much motivated by altruism as greed. The benefits of investing certainly include higher earnings and better jobs but they also encompass, for example, cultural enrichment where individuals think this is important. The costs centre on the value of the time surrendered in making investments" (Vane & Mulhearn, The Nobel Memorial Laureates in Economics, p. 204). 

'Gary Becker is one of the most original minds in modern economics and his writing shave the unique quality of opening up new horizons in economic analysis by relating widely observed but apparently unconnected phenomena to the operation of some single, general principle' (Blaug). He was awarded the 1992 Nobel Prize in Economics for 'having extended the domain of microeconomic analysis to a wide range of human behaviour and interaction, including nonmarket behaviour.'

Stock Code: 246179

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