Vol. 25 No. 1 (2022): Anno XXV, 1-2022
Dossier - Tra Merito e Competenze

Merit, competence and human capital

Andrea Cegolon
Ricercatore di Pedagogia generale e sociale - Università di Macerata

Published 2022-07-20


  • merit,
  • competence,
  • capability,
  • human capital

How to Cite

Cegolon, A. (2022). Merit, competence and human capital. Studi Sulla Formazione/Open Journal of Education, 25(1), 61–72. https://doi.org/10.13128/ssf-13657


Contemporary pedagogy is called to measure itself against two categories, merit and competence, which have become central to the third millennium's cultural debate and educational policies. If merit is considered the only weapon against privilege, education based on skills is considered the only lever of social equalization. But the concept of merit, which has now entered the common language, lends itself to an interpretative ambiguity because the economic meaning tends to prevail over the pedagogical one. The article identifies a clarifying passage by connecting merit to competence using the theory of human capital considered in the evolution from Becker to Heckman.


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