Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Human Knowledge and a Commonsensical Measure of Human Capital: A Proposal

Amavilah, Voxi Heinrich (2014): Human Knowledge and a Commonsensical Measure of Human Capital: A Proposal.


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Existing literature demonstrates clearly that knowledge is the sum of common knowledge and uncommon knowledge. Common knowledge is mostly inherited and it may or may not have scientific bases. Uncommon knowledge is mainly a product of the motions of science and technology. Scientific and technological motions depend on human capital, so that world knowledge is human capital by implication. From here analysis is not so unusual as the concept of human capital is not new. Through out history people have been interested in valuing human life. What prevented rapid progress in the beginning was inhibitions to likening humans to machines. As soon as economists overcame their inhibitions, human capital theory developed quickly along the familiar logistic curve, picking up speed after Mincer devised a practical formula for it. However, the Mincerian equation formalized a misconception in three ways. First, it based human capital only on labor, thereby overstating the production role and disregarding the importance of human capital in innovation and knowledge creation. Second, it measured human capital as an area, ignoring common language and understanding that as knowledge human capital is at least 3D “solid”, with depth, width, and the time over and in which it accumulates. Finally, it neglected key interactions between the quantity and quality indicators of human capital. These misconceptions are what this paper tries to shed light upon by proposing a commonsensical measure of human capital as a volume. Analysis finds that disregarding interactions our commonsensical measure of human capital is larger than conventional Mincerian measures of human capital. Taking interactions into account, it is possible for our measure to be larger, smaller, or equal to conventional measures.

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