A Look at the Long-term Accumulation of Human Capital and Knowledge Intensity of Work in Australia


Alexis Esposto, Swinburne University of Technology, Melba Avenue, Lilydale, Melbourne, VIC 3140, Australia. Email: aesposto@swin.edu.au


The history of Australia since the 1960s has been one of substantial economic change. One of the key drivers of this has been the growth in the importance of human capital formation and the knowledge intensification of occupations. This paper analyses the intensification of knowledge in different types of employment, over the longer term and the corresponding increase in human capital formation. In order to undertake this analysis, the O*NET measures of knowledge and Australian employment data are used to determine the degree to which human capital in Australia has changed. The paper concludes that there has been a slow but steady rise in the knowledge intensity of Australian occupations over the past thirty-five years, although not uniformly across different groups and consequent level of human capital.