Importance The article considers human capital being one of the most important economic categories. Objectives The aim is to review the evolution of institutional conditions, in which processes of human capital formation and development take place, including its structural transformations. Methods In the study, I apply scientific approaches and methods, like retrospective historical analysis, institutional analysis, quantitative and qualitative sociological methods, statistical data processing. The results of integrated economic and sociological surveys of forest regions of the Republic of Karelia, statistical data serve as the empirical base of the research. Results Using the institutional analysis of the evolution of human capital institutions formation in the Republic of Karelia over 70 years, the paper unveils three historical periods (early Soviet, Soviet and post-Soviet). Each of them has its own specific economic and social processes. The condition of institutions that facilitate or hamper the human capital development is assessed through the public policy, behavior patterns of the business and the population. Conclusions Quantitative and qualitative characteristics of human capital serve as indicators of socio-economic systems. It is crucial to focus the State policy on creation of innovative institutions to form, develop, and reproduce the human capital; the institutions will enable to initiate the process of depressed forest regions' recovery.
Keywords: forest raw materials, depressed region, human capital institution, forest village, migration
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