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CEPAL Review

Cepal Review is the leading journal for the study of economic and social development issues in Latin America and the Caribbean. Edited by the Economic Commission for Latin America, each issue focuses on economic trends, industrialization, income distribution, technological development and monetary systems, as well as the implementation of economic reform and transfer of technology. Written in English and Spanish (Revista de la Cepal), each tri-annual issue offers approximately 12 studies and essays undertaken by authoritative experts or gathered from conference proceedings.

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The human capital endowment of Latin America and the Caribbean

Although there are a great many theoretical and empirical studies which use the concept of human capital, there is no generally accepted definition of this term, and in many cases it is simply equated with formal education. This article will try to clarify the concept of human capital more precisely, with special reference to the ways in which it can be acquired. It will also provide an international indicator that takes account of all the shades of meaning of the definition proposed here, which are usually left out of the traditional indicators. Thus, the proposed indicator will take into account health, formal and informal education, and experience. Analysis of the human capital endowments of the Latin American and Caribbean countries reveals a certain backwardness with respect to other regions. It should be noted, however, that there are big differences between countries, although these have been reduced in the last few decades through a process of regional convergence.

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