Social Investments - meeting social and economic goals in new ways

Jon Kvist is Professor at the Institut of Society and Globalisation, Roskilde University Denmark.

This paper is based on his presentation at the EU-LAC Foundation`s discussion forum “Latin America and the Caribbean in the context of changes: Opportunities and challenges for the EU”, which took place in Berlin on the 6th of March 2014.

The social investment strategy holds the promise of achieving both social and economic goals. In brief the strategy hinges on different policies and returns over the life cycle that aims to help create, maintain and use human capital.

In childhood and youth social investment consists of policies like childcare, early childhood education, schools and colleges. Childcare and early childhood education stimulates the important social and cognitive skills that are vital for us to acquire new knowledge, skills and competences later in life. The success of the educational system thus rests on the availability and quality of these early policies. In turn the educational system provide the fundament - different skill-sets - for stepping into the labour market. The social investment strategy is a dynamic framework where investment and return at one stage determine what policies and returns can be made at the next stage. Early investments in children are thus also crucial for the success of policies aimed at people later in life. Read Paper