Publication Date

September 1987


"One of the more insightful explanations for economic progress in industrialized nations during the last half of the twentieth century has been the recognition of "human resources as the wealth of nations." The notion has long enjoyed a rhetorical appeal by politicians in democratic societies. But awareness that the principle has enormous economic implications for national and international well-being has essentially been a post-World War II phenomena. Increasingly, policymakers in industrialized nations have realized that the human resource development of their labor forces is the key to efforts to address such difficult issues as efficiency, equity, stabilization, and growth. Nations with limited physical resources, such as Japan and Germany, have sustained superior economic performances in this new era largely because they have been forced to develop their human resources. All industrial democracies have come to appreciate the wisdom of Ray Marshall's observation that "developed, educated, motivated people are an unlimited resource . . . [while] undeveloped, uneducated, unmotivated people are a monumental drag on an economy in the internationalized information era" of contemporary times."


Suggested Citation
Briggs, V.M., Jr. (1987). Human resource development and the formulation of national economic policy. Journal of Economic Issues, 21, 1207-1240.

Required Publisher Statement
Reprinted from the Journal of Economic Issues by special permission of the copyright holder, the Association for Evolutionary Economics.