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Increasing returns to education and the impact on social capital

The returns to education have been increasing. It is suggested that high-skilled workers’ social capital investment has been adversely affected by the increasing incentives to devote human capital to career development. Lower social capital is linked to reduced economic growth and innovation and higher transaction costs and is detrimental to individual well-being. We find evidence to suggest there is an increasing opportunity cost associated with greater levels of social capital investment for high-skilled workers, especially those with more demands on their time. These results provide support for increased availability of work flexibility policies that can improve the work–life balance.