Журнал "Демографія та соціальна економіка"

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№2 (20) 2013

Demography and social economy, 2013, 2(20):50-59
doi: https://doi.org/10.15407/dse2013.02.050

D.P. Melnichuk
PhD, Senior Researcher M.V. Ptoukha Institute for Demography and Social Studies, NAS of Ukraine

Section: Human development, social capital
Language: Ukrainian
Abstract: Today in the science of labor the basic terms and concepts are being interpreted too broadly. They, in fact, become synonyms and lose terminological identity. This leads to apparently meaningful findings and con- clusions proving to be too generalized. As a result, their application in practice becomes extremely difficult. Unfortunately, the meaning of many scientific papers does not go beyond the justification of importance or priority of any changes. At the same time a complete disregard for the way in which these changes can be achieved in the absence of real economic environment is observed. This is not surprising, since inappropri- ate, inconsistent, willful, unreasonable use, and identification of economic categories leads both theoretical science and practical transformations to a deadlock. And, above all, this concerns such economic category as capital. This category reflects not only the nature of certain investment assets, but also takes the discus- sion in the plane of their profitability. It also touches on issues of distribution of the revenue, which will undoubtedly affect the system of social relations in all its manifold manifestations. Outside of this context, analysis of the problems of both human capital and capital in general loses all meaning.
To substantiate the ideas which were expressed, an analysis of the major categories of labor economics, including «labor power», «labor potential», «human capital», is presented in the article. It is argued that the central issue of labor potential is the question of the ability to solve the economic problem at a certain level of economic system. In this sense, the labor potential is defined as a generalized description of the society, labor collective and the individual, expressing their ability to solve a wide range of economic problems if the necessary technology, and material and financial resources are available. However, the economic category of «human capital» has a different nature and purpose. It shows the nature and patterns of distribution of the social product between different segments of the population, the status and role of different social strata, the prospects of improving the level and quality of life of workers and their families.
In general, as a result of the investigation, the author concluded that the problem of human capital can be viewed from the perspective of two interrelated planes: investment that reflects the regularities of the formation of an asset, and productive, which contains answers to the question of the consequences of its practical application. Accordingly, a conclusion is formulated that the human capital must be understood as an economic asset that is generated as a result of various investments through purposeful modification of the productive capacity of an individual (society as a whole). It also represents these possibilities in the course of employment which provides some income to participants of the investment and the production processes. Proper application of these economic categories is a prerequisite to identify effective measures to develop the scope of industrial relations.
Key words: terminology, labor economics, labor potential, human capital, level and quality of life.
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