1st Edition

Human Capital Development and Indigenous Peoples

By Nicholas Biddle Copyright 2019
    128 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    128 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In all countries for which data is available, Indigenous peoples have lower rates of formal educational participation and attainment than their non-Indigenous counterparts. There are many structural reasons for this, but it may in part be related to the perceived relationship between the costs and benefits of education. Human Capital Development and Indigenous Peoples systematically applies a human capital approach to educational policy, to help understand the education and broader development outcomes of indigenous peoples.

    The basic Human Capital Model states that individuals, families and communities will invest in education until the benefits of doing so no longer outweigh the costs. This trade-off is often considered in monetary terms. Here the author broadens cost-benefit definitions to include health and wellbeing improvements alongside social costs driven by discrimination and unfair treatment in schools. With coverage of the Americas, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, the book critiques existing approaches, and provides an outlet for the self-described experiences of a diverse set of indigenous peoples on the breadth of educational costs and benefits. Combining new quantitative analysis, cross-national perspectives and an explicit policy focus, this book provides policy actors with a detailed understanding of the education decision and equips them with the knowledge to enhance benefits while minimising costs.

    This book will appeal to policy-engaged researchers in the fields of economics, demography, sociology, political science, development studies and anthropology, as well as policy makers or practitioners who are interested in incorporating the most recent evidence into their practice or frameworks.

    Preface – Standpoint and position

    Part 1: A human capital approach to Indigenous development

    1. Introduction – Why human capital, and why Indigenous peoples

    2. The human capital model and its application to Indigenous peoples

    3. The determinants of Indigenous human capital development and barriers to development

    Part 2: Programs that help improve the human capital development of Indigenous peoples

    4. Improving the schooling experience of Indigenous peoples

    5. Indigenous specific education institutions

    6. Programs that impact on Indigenous peoples indirectly – Conditional Cash Transfers and Indigenous peoples in Latin America

    Part 3: Using the Human Capital model to improve the outcomes of Indigenous peoples

    7.  Education for all: Using the Human Capital Model for education equity in the 21st Century


    Nicholas Biddle is Associate Professor in Public Policy at the Australian National University and Associate Director of the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research and a Fellow of the Tax and Transfer Policy Institute.