Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät

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Human Capital


Human capital can be described as the combination of talents, personality attributes, education, experiences and competencies embodied in an individual. Although the notion of human capital is commonly ascribed to Nobel laureate Gary S. Becker for his works on education the concept itself is as old as the discipline of economics. Adam Smith (1776) wrote: “The improved dexterity of a workman may be considered in the same light as a machine or instrument of trade which facilitates and abridges labor, and which, though it costs a certain expense, repays that expense with a profit.” Nowadays – almost 250 years later – we are rather concerned with the human capital of the manager or entrepreneur than that of the Smithsonian workman.