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Technological gaps and structural adjustments: The case of the European human capital policy after the Second World War.

Viarengo, Martina Giorgia (2007) Technological gaps and structural adjustments: The case of the European human capital policy after the Second World War. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Two events greatly increased the technological gap between Western Europe and the United States in the second half of the twentieth century. First, the Second World War greatly enhanced the "Atlantic Divide". Later, the introduction of a new general purpose technology, the information and communication technologies (ICT), fostered the European technological lag. The aim of the dissertation is to study the impact of technological gaps on growth by looking at the role of human capital. This is because the gaps generated a great need for adjusting the existing educational, training and research settings. The research question addressed in the thesis is: what have been the structural adjustments undertaken by European countries in the human capital policy since the end of the Second World War. Have these changes been sustained by the technological development. To address the research question, three aspects of the human capital policy that have received little attention in the existing literature but that appear to be fundamental in order to fully understand the European response are identified. The first chapter provides the theoretical and conceptual framework for the analysis whereas chapter two gives an overview of the historical background of postwar Europe. In chapter three, the first human capital policy change is examined by analysing the expansion of compulsory schooling and trying to understand what have been its determinants. Chapter four studies the policies undertaken with respect to the curricula of education by looking at the evolution of vocational education and training with respect to general education. The introduction of the ICT programmes in vocational education is examined for three European countries. Chapter five is devoted to the estimation of the returns to education across European countries by carrying out a cohort analysis over 1985-2000. The last section provides a discussion and concluding comments on the findings of the research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Public and Social Welfare, European Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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