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Mothers and Human Capital

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Jan 10, 2011    •    205 Views    •    TIME TO READ: 1 minute

In The Wall Street Journal, a Chinese mother discusses her rules for her children which include: 1) only A’s, 2) no play dates, 3) no parts in school plays, 4) no TV,  5) no sleepovers, 6) play the piano or violin for several hours daily. Continuing with her rationale, she explains that she helps her children feel good about themselves because she makes sure that they excel.

By contrast, according to this article, “Western” style childrearing emphasizes treating children’s psyches gently. They compliment and encourage. They leave room for individual decision-making and choices.

Your comments about the different approaches?

The Economic Lesson

Defined as the education that makes us more productive, human capital can develop at home, at work, at school. As economists, we know that developing human capital is crucial for economic growth.

Calling the 20th century “The Human Capital Century” in The Race between Education and Technology, Harvard’s Claudia Goldin and Laurence Katz discuss the spread and impact of universal secondary education. As the United States moved from mandatory primary education in a handful of states to universal, non-gender education through secondary school for everyone, the benefits spread far beyond the schoolhouse. Economists cite the correlation between education and technological progress, between education and health, and the summary result, between education and growth.

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