For centuries, economists and policymakers have been stumped by one economic puzzle: what makes some countries rich, while others remain relatively poor? The World Bank is now attempting to answer this quandary in a new report that gives the main credit to what it calls “human capital:” investing in a nation’s people by such measures as increasing the years of education and spending on health.
Not surprisingly, the report, entitled The Changing Wealth of Nations 2018, cites countries like the United States and Germany as the global leaders in human capital achievement. Germany, for example, has $467,668 per capita human capital, as measured by the World Bank, compared with $415,851 in France and $460,082 in Finland. Switzerland is way ahead with $1.02 million.
“There is no sustainable and reliable development if we don’t recognize human capital as the most important component of the prosperity of nations,” said World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim.