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Symposium 2013

Solution for Inequality and Human Capital

The Challenge

Both advanced industrial economies such as the United States and rapidly growing economies such as China are exhibiting increasing levels of inequality and disadvantage. Recent research on the sources ...

Both advanced industrial economies such as the United States and rapidly growing economies such as China are exhibiting increasing levels of inequality and disadvantage. Recent research on the sources of inequality has begun the process of creating a new social science paradigm which integrates economics, psychological sociological and biological factors in order to provide a comprehensive understanding of the determinants of socioeconomic status across the life course as well as intergenerational mobility. This new work embodies a rich conception of the forces that underlie individual decision making that draws upon the insights of many disciplines. These insights are unified by conceptualizing inequality in socio-economic outcomes as derivative from inequalities that emerge in cognitive and noncognitive skills, which include personality traits as well as human capital and intelligence.

Give children the promise of higher education and a community to support them on their road to college

Many children do not see higher education in their future. It is for someone else – someone else whose family has more money – someone else whose parents can pay. Why work hard in school when the reward is not there?

The promise of higher education can dramatically change how parents and children see their future. The promise of higher education for anyone who completes secondary school opens a window of opportunity. It can galvanize a community to support children to meet the challenges of middle school and high school curricula.

The benefits of such a promise radiate far beyond the school. It can hold a community together, with everyone working together to sustain the community and invest in its future workforce.

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