Brooks breaks human capital into five underlying components, which he defines as
- Cultural capital: the habits, assumptions, emotional dispositions and linguistic capacities we unconsciously pick up from families, neighbors and ethnic groups - usually by age 3.
- Social capital: the knowledge of how to behave in groups and within institutions.
- Moral capital: the ability to be trustworthy.
- Cognitive capital: This can mean pure, inherited brainpower. But important cognitive skills are not measured by IQ tests and are not fixed.
- Aspirational capital: the fire-in-the-belly ambition to achieve.
"Over the past quarter-century, researchers have done a lot of work trying to understand the different parts of human capital. Their work has been almost completely ignored by policy makers, who continue to treat human capital as just skills and knowledge. The result? A series expensive policy failures."For more on human capital on these pages, see my recent post on maximizing the return on your human capital investment, as researched by Watson Wyatt.