A quick first appraisal of the human-capital approach serves to show its methodological individualism. It is not individual investment decisions that determine the propensity to acquire qualifications, but the following socio-political factors:
  1. (i)

    a propensity to acquire a class-specific qualification or education depending on social origin (which means a rigid reproduction of either the class structure or a given social structure);

  2. (ii)

    the class- or social-structure-specific teaching in terms of method and content (within the context of a bourgeois-educational system);

  3. (iii)

    a politically determined supply of educational facilities.

Thus the alternative approach presented here starts from the existence of basic economic, social, and educational needs which are socially determined and fulfilled under the restrictive social conditions of the welfare state. Social and educational goods are regarded as political goods, that is both the level and structure of these goods are determined by non-market factors through the political system (collective action, democratic action, bureaucratic action).


Social Policy Collective Action Welfare State Educational Planning State Bureaucracy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© International Economic Association 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans Peter Widmaier
    • 1
  1. 1.University of RegensburgFederal Republic of Germany

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