Human capital formation in medieval Islam


1 May 2013


Volume 1 – Number

How to cite

Maya Shatzmiller



This paper suggests that human capital, together with the division of labour, contributed to economic growth in the Islamic Middle East, from the seventh to the eleventh centuries. Skills and knowledge were transmitted through three mediums: apprenticeship, written professional manuals, and mobility of artisans. The contextual setting of each medium was different. Early formulation of labour law in the case of apprenticeship; the rise in income and standards of living resulting in literacy of the workforce in the case of the manuals; and intensive urbanization in the case of the mobility of artisans.


Islamic Middle East, Seventh to eleventh centuries, Human capital, Apprenticeship, written professional manuals, and mobility of artisans