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Human Capital Report Cards for American States

Robert G. Lehnen and Eugene M. McGregor, Jr.
Policy Sciences
Vol. 27, No. 1 (1994), pp. 19-35
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4532304
Page Count: 17
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Human Capital Report Cards for American States
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Abstract

A theoretical and empirical basis for comparing stocks of human capital in the American states is developed. Human capital report cards are measurement tools allowing states to benchmark their production and retention of the knowledges, skills and abilities required by economic development and public education policy making. A prototype report card is created from 12 indicators - seven of which theoretically capture a 'basic' dimension of human capital and five of which measure 'complex' human capital. Principal component factor analysis reveals that for the 50 states in the 1980s the concept of human capital is a multi-dimensional construct rather than a unidimensional one and that 'basic' and 'complex' factors do in fact distinguish the major cleavages among human capital measures. A further finding is that the relative positions of the 50 states can be plotted on the two dimensions with practical payoffs accruing to state and local planners.

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