The Economics of Human Capital - EC582

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
Canterbury Spring
View Timetable
5 15 (7.5) DR BK Malde


EC304 Principles of Economics,
EC305/EC306 Mathematics for Economics,
EC309 Statistics for Economics are pre-requisite modules

EC580 is recommended for this module. Single Honours students will normally take this as a compulsory module





This course examines the economic relevance of human capital. We will begin by defining and categorizing different types of human capital, and then consider the economic importance of human capital both to individuals and to society. The course will explore the connections between human capital and the labour market, as well as social outcomes such as crime. We will discuss some of the challenges faced in identifying a causal effect of human capital on individual and social outcomes. Students will learn about how econometric techniques can be used to obtain causal effects.

The course will also study how human capital is formed and how it can be influenced by policy intervention. We will consider the effects of specific policy interventions on human capital development, drawing on examples from developing and developed countries.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

20 Lectures
9 Seminars

Method of assessment

10% In Course Test
10% Essay (1500 words)
80% Examination (2 hours)

Preliminary reading

• Sloan, F. and C-R. Hsieh (2012), 'Health Economics', MIT Press.
• Borjas, G. (2016), ‘Labor Economics’, McGraw Hill.
• Sloane, P., Latreille, P. and N. O’Leary (2016), ‘Modern Labour Economics’, Routledge.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

• Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of human capital
• Apply microeconomic concepts and principles to the acquisition of human capital
• Identify the consequences of market failure and their impact on human capital development
• Understand the private and social effects of human capital
• Recognise the process of human capital formation and the role of policy intervention
• Understand the challenges and methods involved in identifying and measuring human capital outcomes

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