Current Institutional Affiliation
Professor, Graduate School of International Development, Nagoya University

Award Information

Abe Fellowship 2010
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Professor, Graduate School of International Development, Nagoya University
Globalization and Changing Patterns of Skills Development: A Comparative Study of the U.S., China and India

Drawing on the experiences of three countries—the U.S., China, and India—this research examines changes in the patterns of skills development and factors that have affected such changes, employing a multi-level institutional analysis that will reveal changes that have occurred at the macro (national), meso (education sector), and micro (firm) levels. Over the past two decades, as globalization has proceeded, many countries have increasingly recognized the need to foster skills development in their workforces through adequate education and training, for gaining more competitiveness for sustainable economic growth, and enhancing the employability of the poor and the unemployed. In particular, in order to gain competitiveness in the global economy by developing skilled workforces, many emerging economies, most notably China and India, have recently renewed their interest in skills development. The aim of the study is to develop an alternative framework that is more comprehensive than the existing theories, to explain the role that institutions play in economic development. More specifically, it aims 1) to understand the changing nature of skills development institutions at various levels; 2) to examine how different institutions interact with one another in shaping the ways that skills development occurs in different country contexts; and 3) to analyze the factors that have contributed to the changing patterns of skills development. It will answer the following three research questions: 1) How have the patterns of skills development changed in the U.S., China and India?; 2) How are these changes in skills development shaped by the changing economic conditions and industrial structures, and/or by the inherent institutional forces?; and 3) How are the experiences of the U.S., China, and India different or similar? What explains their differences and similarities? So far, little research has focused on how emerging economies, particularly China and India, have responded to the challenge of developing highly skilled workforces, and how such changes in education and training have in turn contributed to their remarkable economic growth. It is interesting to see how, despite the strong traditional role of the state, their institutional forms have changed, or not, in response to the opening of their economies, as they have both experienced economic reforms in recent decades. This study explores, both theoretically and empirically, alternative models of skills development in the era of globalization, drawing on existing works in various social sciences disciplines. The findings of this study will also help us reexamine the role of public policy in skills development, and in economic development in the era of globalization. It employs a multi-level approach to analyze skills development at three levels: 1) national, including country-wide skills development systems; 2) institutional level (the supply side of skills development); and 3) firm (the demand side of skills development). Accordingly, this research project is divided into three phases, each involving a comparative analysis. First, I will look at national skills development systems in these three countries, and then their TVET institutions. Finally, I will analyze the firm-level skills development practices at automobile firms in these three countries.