Staff Report 447

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Comment on Christian's "Human Capital Accounting in the United States: 1994–2006"

Ellen R. McGrattan - Consultant

Published June 1, 2010

Abstract
Michael Christian's paper presents a human capital account for the United States for the period 1994 to 2006. The main findings are twofold. First, the total human capital stock is about three-quarters of a quadrillion dollars in 2006. This estimate is roughly 55 times gross domestic product (GDP) and 16 times the net stock of fixed assets plus consumer durables. His second finding is that the measures of gross investment in human capital are sensitive to alternative assumptions about enrollment patterns. In my comments, I emphasize the need for greater interaction between human capital accountants and applied economists. To date, there remains a disconnect between those measuring human wealth and those investigating its economic impact.


Published In: Survey of Current Business (Vol. 90, No. 6, June 2010, pp. 37-41)

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