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Beyond a human capital approach to education and the labour market: the case for industrial policy

Brown, Phillip ORCID:, Cheung, Sin Yi ORCID: and Lauder, Hugh 2015. Beyond a human capital approach to education and the labour market: the case for industrial policy. Bailey, David, Cowling, Keith and Tomlinson, Philip, eds. New Perspectives on Industrial Policy for a Modern Britain, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 206-224. (10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198706205.003.0011)

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This chapter argues that human capital theory cannot provide the policy guidance required to address the problems of graduate underemployment and the dispersion of graduate incomes. These problems should not be seen as arising from the Great Recession and hence, as human capital theory would predict, are temporary. Rather, they have been caused by structural changes to the global labour market. The chapter argues that globalization has led to a ‘global auction for jobs’, not only in low-skill employment but also in high-skill employment, which is beginning to ‘squeeze’ (graduate) job opportunities and incomes, particularly in Western economies. This is combined with a restratification of knowledge-based (graduate) work, which is generating wider income dispersions between new (chosen) elites and other graduates (many of whom are employed in ‘non-graduate’ work). In this regard, the challenge is to move away from a traditional (neoclassical) human capital approach and for industrial policy to help facilitate a greater supply of graduate-type jobs.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198706205
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Last Modified: 28 Oct 2022 08:36

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