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Berkeley, Calif./London, England, University of California Press, 1981. xii, 173 p. (In series: Royer Lectures)This work, intended for a general as well as professional audience, argues that the acquired abilities of people including education, experience, skills, and health, are basic in achieving economic progress in the developing world. The 1st section examines the phenomenon of poverty in the developing world and stresses the contributions of human capital to productivity and human welfare in the lower income countries. Possible investments in human quality are surveyed, and theoretical and empirical observations concerning education and health are presented. A separate chapter assesses the role of higher education in developing countries, arguing that although governments in many countries impair the role of higher education, achievements have been substantial in a number of them. The next section examined economic consequences of the increases in the value of time that occur with development. A discussion of methodological and conceptual difficulties in measuring the value of time is included. The final section analyzes some serious economic distortions that result from government policies in developed as well as developing countries and that prevent the potential economic productivity of the poor from being realized. Distortions in the school systems of large cities, in allocation of funds for research, and in various aspects of life in developing countries that are affected by the international donor community are examined. Some implications of the findings are suggested in a brief concluding chapter.