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Human capital theory, or the notion that there is a direct relationship between educational investment and individual and national prosperity, has dominated public policy on education and labor for the past fifty years. In The Death of Human Capital?, Phillip Brown, Hugh Lauder, and Sin Yi Cheung argue that the human capital story is one of false promise: investing in learning isn't the road to higher earnings and national prosperity. Rather than abandoning human capital theory, however, the authors redefine human capital in an age of smart machines. They present a new human capital theory that rejects the view that automation and AI will result in the end of waged work, but see the fundamental problem as a lack of quality jobs offering interesting, worthwhile, and rewarding opportunities. A controversial challenge to the reigning ideology, The Death of Human Capital? connects with a growing sense that capitalism is in crisis, felt by students and the wider workforce, shows
what's at stake in the new human capital while offering hope for the future.
About the Author
Phillip Brown is a Distinguished Research Professor in the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University. His publications include 18 books and over 100 academic articles and reports. He has given presentations in over twenty countries. He Chaired an Independent Review for the Welsh Government examining the impact of digital innovation for the economy and the future of work in Wales, UK, and is currently leading a six-country research program examining digital transformation and the future of work, education and skills, in collaboration with the Research and Innovation Division, Institute of Adult Learning, Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS). He also serves on the Council of Management, National Institute for Economic and Social Research, London. Hugh Lauder is Professor of Education and Political Economy at the University of Bath. He specializes in the relationship of education to the economy and has for over 20 years worked on national skill strategies and the global economy. His current work is on the alternatives to human capital and skill bias technical change theories. Sin Yi Cheung is Professor of Sociology at the School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University. Her research addresses different forms of social inequalities in Britain and in comparative perspective. She has published on the changing inequalities in higher education, ethno-religious penalties in the labor market, lone parents on benefits, claimants' dynamics, children in care, migration and refugee integration.