Human Capital and Its Structure

Journal of Private Enterprise, Forthcoming

24 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2017

See all articles by Scott Burns

Scott Burns

Ursinus College; Southeastern Louisiana University; American Institute for Economic Research

Date Written: July 3, 2017


The Austrian school is unique for its emphasis of the capital structure of an economy. In this paper, I explore what this “capital-based” approach to macroeconomics with its focus on capital as a structure and the heterogeneity of not only physical but also human capital might teach us about how governments interventions might distort market price signals, disrupt intertemporal coordination, and lead to malinvestments in human capital. By extending the Austrian theory in this manner, I hope to lay out a theoretical foundation that future scholars can build upon to make contributions to some of the most pertinent questions in labor and macroeconomics such as why employment takes so long to recover following a recession and why “under-employment” and why the so-called “skills mismatch” has apparently increased over time.

Keywords: Human Capital; Labor Economics; Austrian Economics; Austrian Capital Theory; Austrian Business Cycle Theory; Malinvestments

JEL Classification: B53, E00, E2, E3, E4, E5, E6, J00, J2, J3, J5, J6, J7, J8

Suggested Citation

Burns, Scott, Human Capital and Its Structure (July 3, 2017). Journal of Private Enterprise, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Scott Burns (Contact Author)

Ursinus College ( email )

Collegeville, PA 19426-2562
United States
2259371098 (Phone)
2259371098 (Fax)


Southeastern Louisiana University ( email )

Hammond, LA 70402
United States

American Institute for Economic Research

PO Box 1000
Great Barrington, MA 01230
United States

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