This article highlights and assesses orthodox responses to three crucial questions in political economy, namely: the role of human capital in the process of economic development, how this role transforms during a period of resource abundance and what is the place of education in empowering labour to reclaim or transform surplus value. Drawing on recent evidence collected from Ghana, a new and young oil economy, it proposes different responses to all these questions which imply the need to replace the concept of "human capital" with "human development" and to move from theoretical to substantivist analysis of oil, education and labour relations.
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is Visiting Research Fellow at UNRISD.
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