Human capital refers to stock of ‘skill and expertise’ embodied in humans. Human capital is as important as physical capital for economic development. Human capital formation is the process of adding to stock of human capital over time. Human capital can be developed through creation of skilled, trained and efficient labour force by providing better education, health care facilities, etc. Highly skilled people can create new ideas and methods of production. Thus, expenditure on education, on health and on on-job-training are key instruments of human capital formation. Expenditure on education is one of the most important way of enhancing and enlarging a productive workforce in the country. Expenditure on health can create more efficient and more productive human capital. Further, on-the-job-training helps workers to update skills. Training enhances the productivity and is expected to accelerate the process of human capital formation.
Human Capital and Economic Growth
When we talk about economic growth, human capital is the main reason for the accelerated growth and expansion for many countries that provide investment in human capital. This gives the best advantages to these countries for providing the best situations for work and lifestyles.A significant advantage in generating a stable environment for growth is that the nation has the expanded high-quality human capital in fields like health, science, management, education, and other fields. Here, the main components of human capital are definitely human beings, but presently, the principal component is a creative, educated, and enterprising person with a high level of professionalism.
Human capital in the economy manages the central portion of the national wealth. Hence, all researchers consider that human capital is the most important resource of the community, which is more powerful than nature or wealth. In most countries, human capital determines the rate of development, economic, technological, and scientific progress.
(i) Inventions, innovations, and technological improvement
(ii) Higher productivity of physical capital
(iii) Raises production
(iv) High rate of participation and equality
(v) Improves the quality of life
The difference between human capital and physical capital
Both forms of capital formation are outcomes of conscious investment decisions. Decision regarding investment in physical capital is taken on the basis of one’s knowledge in this regard. The entrepreneur possesses knowledge to calculate the expected rate of return to a range of investments and internationally decide which one of the investments should be made. Physical capital is the outcome of the conscious decision of the owner the physical capital formation is mainly and economic and technical process. A substantial part of human capital formation takes place in one life when she or he is unable to decide whether it will maximize her or his earnings. Children are given different types of school education health care facilities by parents and society. The peers, educators and society influence the decisions regarding human capital investment even at the tertiary level, at the college level. Human capital formation at this stage is dependent upon the already from human capital at the school level. Human capital formation is partly a social process and partly a conscious decision of the possessor of the human capital. The owner of a physical capital, does need not be present in the place where it is used; a bus driver who possesses the knowledge and ability to drive the bus should be present when the bus is used for transportation of people and other materials physical capital is tangible and can be easily sold in the market like any other commodity. Human Capital is intangible it is endogenously built in the body and mind of its owner. Human Capital is not sold in the market; service of human capital is sold and hence there arises the necessity of owner of the human capital to be present in the place of production. Physical capital is variable from its owner where does the human capital is in separable from its owner. The two forms of capital differ in terms of mobility across space. Capital is completely mobile between countries except for some artificial trade restrictions. Human capital is not a perfectly movable between countries as movement is restricted by nationality and culture. Physical Capital formation can be built it even do import, human capital formation is to be done through conscious policy formulations in consensus with nature of society and economy expenditure by the state and the individual.
Both forms of capital depreciate with the time but the nature of depreciation differs between the two continuous use of machine lead to depreciation and change of Technology makes a machine of solute. Human capital, eating but can reduce, for large through continuous investment in education and health on the job training. This investment also facilitates the human capital to cope with change in technology which is not the case with physical capital. Natures of benefits flowing from human capital are different from that of physical capital. Human Capital benefits not only the owner but also the society in general. This is called external benefit. Educated person can effectively take part in a democratic process and contribute to the socio economic progress of a nation. Healthy person, by maintaining personal hygiene and sanitation, stops the spread of contagious diseases and epidemics. Human Capital creates both private and social benefits where as physical capital creates only private benefits. That is, benefits from a capital good flow to those who pay the price for the product and services provided by it.
Importance of Human Capital Formation:
Although the accumulation of physical capital is quite important in the process of economic growth of a country but with the passage of time, it is being increasingly realised that the growth of tangible capital stock depends extensively on the human capital formation must get its due importance.In the absence of adequate investment in human capital, utilisation of physical capital will be at low pace, leading to retardation of development.Prof. Galbraith observed, “We now get the larger part of our industrial growth not from more capital investment but from investment in men and improvements brought about by improved men.” Unless these developed economies spread education, knowledge, know-how and raise the level of skills and physical efficiency of their people, the productivity of physical capital would have been reduced at this moment.
Most of the underdeveloped countries are suffering from low rate of economic growth which is again partially resulted from lack of investment in human capital. These underdeveloped countries are facing mainly two basic problems. They lack critical skills very much needed for the industrial sector and again have a surplus labour force.Thus human capital formation wants to solve these problems by creating necessary skills in man as a productive resource and also providing him gainful employment.In order to remove economic backwardness of the underdeveloped countries as well as to instill the capacities and motivations to progress, it is quite necessary to increase the level of knowledge and skills of the people.Thus in the absence of proper development of the quality of the human factor, the underdeveloped countries will not be able to attain the desired rate of progress.
Economic and social benefits of human capital formation and Human Development are well-known. The spread of education and Health Services across different sectors of the society should be ensured so as to simultaneously attain economic growth and equity. The need of the hour is to better it qualitatively and provide such conditions so that they are utilised in our own country.