Human capital could also be applied to topics beyond returns to individuals from education.人力资本还可以被应用于个人教育回报之外的多种话题。The idea was a powerful variable in explaining why some countries fared far better than others: to promote income growth over many years, heavy investment in schooling was necessary.这一思想在解释为什么有些国家比其他国家过得好很多时是一个强有力的变量:为促进长年的收入增长,学校教育方面的大笔投入是必需的。It shed light on why firms in poor countries tended to be more paternalistic, providing dormitories and canteens: they reaped immediate productivity gains from rested, well-fed workers.它论述了为什么穷国的公司往往更具有家长式作风,提供了宿舍和食堂:它们从吃好睡好的工人那里收获了直接的生产力提高。It informed big increases in the numbers of women studying law, finance and science since the 1950s: the automation of much household work meant that women could invest more in building their careers.它通告了学习法律金融和科学的女性数量在上世纪50年代之后的巨大增长:大部分家务活的自动化意味着女性可以在构建职业生涯方面投入更多。And it helped explain the shrinkage of families in wealthy countries: if increasing value is placed on human capital, parents must invest more in each child, making large families costly.同时,它还为解释家庭在富裕国家中的收缩提供了帮助:如果增加值是被放在人力资本之上,父母就必须要为每一个孩子投入更多的钱,这使得大家庭变得成本高昂。But any theory that attempts to explain so much is bound to encounter pushback.但是,任何试图解释如此多事情的理论注定都会遇到阻力。Many critics bristled at Becker’s market-driven logic, which seemed to reduce people to cold, calculating machines.许多批评者对贝克尔的这种似乎是把人贬低到等同于冰冷的、会算计的机器的市场驱动逻辑感到不满。Although “human capital” is an unsightly term—in 2004 a panel of German linguists deemed Humankapital the most offensive word of the year—it is the task of social science to identify and refine concepts that would otherwise be fuzzy.尽管“人力资本”是一个不雅观的词语——一些德国语言学者曾在2004年把Humankapital选为年度最具冒犯性词语——但是,认可并完善这些不然就会含义模糊的概念是社会科学的任务。It took Becker’s framework to make the importance of education explicit, and to put people at the heart of economics.它采用了贝克尔的框架是为了明确教育的重要性,也是为了把人置于经济学的中心。Within the discipline, some objected that Becker had overstated the importance of learning.在学科内部,有些人反对说,贝克尔夸大了学习的重要性。Education matters not because it imparts knowledge, critics said, but because of what it signals about the people who complete university, namely that they are disciplined and more likely to be productive workers.批评者声称,教育之所以重要,不是因为它传授知识,而是因为它发出的关于完成了大学学业之人的信号,即,他们受过训练,并且更可能成为高效的工人。In any case, people of greater abilities are the ones who are most likely to get higher degrees in the first place.一般说来,具有更大能力的是一开始就最有可能拿到更高学位的人。Yet increasingly sophisticated empirical analyses has revealed that the acquisition of knowledge is in fact a big part of what it means to be a student.然而,日益成熟的实证分析表明,知识的获取实际上是作为一名学生所意味的大部分。