How States Develop Human Capital in Europe
In Creating Cooperation, Pepper D. Culpepper explains the successes and failures of human capital reforms adopted by the French and German governments in the 1990s. Employers and employees both stand to gain from corporate investment in worker skills, but uncertainty and mutual distrust among companies doom many policy initiatives to failure. Higher skills benefit society as a whole, so national governments want to foster them. However, business firms often will not invest in training that makes their workers more attractive to other employers, even though they would prefer having better-skilled workers.
Culpepper sees in European training programs a challenge typical of contemporary problems of public policy: success increasingly depends on the ability of governments to convince private actors to cooperate with each other. In the United States as in Europe, he argues, policy-makers can achieve this goal only by incorporating the insights of private information into public policy. Culpepper demonstrates that the lessons of decentralized cooperation extend to industrial and environmental policies. In the final chapter, he examines regional innovation programs in the United Kingdom and the clean-up of the Chesapeake Bay in the United States—a domestic problem that required the coordination of disparate agencies and stakeholders.