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Human Capital Issues

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Chapter Summary

Since the 1960's, the concept of ?human capital" has become an increasingly familiar idea for modern economists. Analysis related to this concept has had significant applications with respect to issues concerning the supply of labor and its remuneration. In fact, reflection on the phenomenon of human capital formation and its implications extends back much further than the mercantilist era. The term ?human capital" refers to the bundle of skills and abilities that an individual brings into a labor market. Talmudic scholars were led to enter into consideration of such issues by virtue of the need to reflect on a particular passage of the biblical Book of Exodus. Concern with human capital issues was evoked also by the talmudic investigation of the value of human life. According to Rashi, evaluation of indemnity for human depreciation should be based on the market value of a Hebrew slave.

Keywords: Book of Exodus; Hebrew slave; human capital issues; labor market; Rashi; Talmudic scholars



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