Human Capital and Institutions is concerned with human capital in its many dimensions and brings to the fore the role of political, social, and ecomic institutions in human capital formation and ecomic growth. Written by leading ecomic historians, including pioneers in historical research on human capital, the chapters in this text offer a broad-based view of human capital in ecomic development. The issues they address range from nutrition in pre-modern societies to twentieth-century advances in medical care; from the social institutions that provided temporary relief to workers in the middle and lower ranges of the wage scale to the factors that affected the performance of those who reached the pinnacle in business and art; and from political systems that stifled the advance of literacy to those that promoted public and higher education. Just as human capital has been a key to ecomic growth, so has the emergence of appropriate institutions been a key to the growth of human capital.
David Eltis is Robert W. Woodruff Professor of History at Emory University and has held visiting appointments at Harvard and Yale universities. He is author of The Rise of African Slavery in the Americas, co-compiler of The Transatlantic Slave Trade: A Database on CD-ROM - and its successor on www.slavevoyages.org - co-editor of Extending the Frontiers: Essays on the New Transatlantic Slave Trade Database (with David Richardson), co-editor of Slavery in the Development of the Americas (with Frank Lewis and Kenneth Sokoloff), and editor of Coerced and Free Migrations: Global Perspectives. He is also author and co-author of numerous articles on slavery, migration, and abolition, most recently in the American Historical Review and the William and Mary Quarterly. Frank D. Lewis is Professor of Economics at Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. He has written on historical issues involving agriculture, land settlement, transportation, Native American history, war, and slavery. His work has appeared in a variety of publications that include leading economic history and economics journals. Articles on the North American fur trade of the eighteenth century (with Ann Carlos) have been awarded prizes by the Canadian Economic Association and the Library Company of Philadelphia. Some of his more recent papers have appeared in the Economic History Review, the Journal of Economic History, and Explorations in Economic History. Kenneth L. Sokoloff (1953-2007) was Professor of Economics at the University of California, Los Angeles, and research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.