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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.

Teach children to share - and create schools where morality is integral to the curriculum.

As the world’s population grows, the globe warms and resources become ever more scarce, people will confront ever more complex moral dilemmas. Yet these dilemmas are often hidden in a globalized market economy: people do not often see the consequences of their actions. Products are made by laboring children in far-off countries. Factories pollute the environment on distant continents.

Children should be taught at an early age that their actions affect others. They should understand that prices do not fully capture the costs of making products. Children can learn about the working conditions of their peers and the degradation of the environment.

Sharing and saving are skills that can be taught by parents and schools. Schools can engage children in service projects, charities and pro-social communities activities. With training and practice, children can be trained to navigate a marketplace morally.

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