News and Announcements

  • CEHD is Hiring Post-Doctoral Scholars (2019)
    The Center for the Economics of Human Development (CEHD) at the University of Chicago is actively seeking Post-Doctoral Scholars interested in the economics of creating and measuring skills. Scholars are expected to conduct empirical collaborative work on one (or more) focused projects. Descriptions for past and ongoing projects can be found on the Center’s website. Scholars can propose new independent research projects consistent with the Center’s broad aims.
  • CEHD Announces University of Chicago Policy Forum on Pension Crisis
    The Macro Finance Research Program (MFR), Center for the Economics of Human Development (CEHD) will host the second installment of the University of Chicago Policy Forum on November 8, 2019. This second forum will focus on the topic of, “The Pension Crisis: State and Local Pension Challenges.”
  • Professor James J. Heckman Receives Prestigious Friendship Award
    Nobel Laureate James J. Heckman, the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago, has received the Friendship Award from the Chinese government. Established in 1991, the Friendship Award is the highest honor issued by the Chinese government to foreign experts. Awardees are chosen for their outstanding contributions to China’s economic and social progress. The award is not only presented in recognition of the foreign expert’s contribution to the Chinese but also a symbol of friendship.
  • Three CEHD Scholars Move On to Pursue Doctorates at Top-Tier Institutions
    Three of the Center’s predoctoral scholars, Ganesh Karapakula, Sidharth Moktan, and Tanya Rajan, have completed their research terms at the Center for the Economics of Human Development (CEHD). After three years of service, they are moving on to doctoral programs at first-rate institutions in the United States and abroad.
  • New CEHD Research Shows Intergenerational Benefits from High-Quality ECE
    New research from CEHD Director James J. Heckman and CEHD Predoctoral Fellow Ganesh Karapakula finds that targeted, high-quality early childhood investments have the power to lift multiple generations out of poverty.

Events and Workshops

January 21, 2020
CEHD 180

Sources of Women’s Underrepresentation in US Politics: A Model of Election Aversion and Voter Discrimination

Ethan Bueno de Mesquita, The University of Chicago

Abstract: A central question animating the study of women in American politics is why so few women hold elected office. The literature exploring this phenomenon has uncovered three empirical facts that require explanation: (i) women are under-represented in the pool of candidates, (ii) conditional on winning, women perform better than men in office, and (iii) conditional on running (and controlling for incumbency), women and men win at equal rates. The literature also posits two key explanatory mechanisms: election aversion and voter bias. We study a formal model of elections that endogenizes male and female potential candidates’ strategic decision to enter politics in order to explore the explanatory power of these mechanisms relative to the empirical facts. Our analysis shows that neither mechanism, on its own, can explain all three facts. But it also shows that a model incorporating both election aversion and voter discrimination can. The reason is that each mechanisms implies each of the first two facts and so they are mutually reinforcing. However, each mechanism is inconsistent with the third fact, but in off-setting ways—election aversion implies that women should win at higher rates than men while voter bias implies that women should win at lower rates than men. Hence, it takes a combination of the two mechanisms to make sense of all three empirical facts.

Nov 8, 2019

University of Chicago Policy Forum: The Pension Crisis

This forum is intended to inform the debate on the state and local pension crisis, its dimensions, economic ramifications and potential solutions. We hope to address various issues including the scope and magnitude of the fiscal challenges, the role of property taxes and their implications for property values, the continued need to encourage new businesses while addressing the necessity for more revenue in the future, and a better understanding of the political environment and process that gave rise to the challenges faced in the city of Chicago, the state of Illinois, as well as in other states and municipalities around the country. Learn more.

August 9-10, 2019

Conference on Statistics, Theory, and Data: an Econometrics Conference in Honor of James Heckman

The Conference on Statistics, Theory, and Data: an Econometrics Conference in Honor of James Heckman is being hosted at the Becker Friedman Institute and organized by Professors Steven Durlauf (University of Chicago) and Ed Vytlacil (Yale University) on August 9th and 10th and the University of Chicago.

This conference is by invitation only. For information, visit the conference website, or email:

Current and Upcoming Visitors

Visiting dates: February 3, 2020 - February 7, 2020

Rasmus Landersø is a senior researcher at Rockwool Foundation Research Unit. He is also an associate member of CEHD and the Human Capital and Economic Opportunity (HCEO) working group, a research fellow at Center for Research & Analysis of Migration (CReAM), and associate editor of the Journal of Human Capital.

Visiting dates: August 26, 2019 - February 2, 2020

Bei Liu is an Associate Research Fellow and Program Officer at the China Development Research Foundation (CDRF), a policy research and advocacy organization founded by the Development Research Center of the State Council. She holds a PhD in Sociology from the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Liu joined CDRF in 2007. She participated in research on Chinese government performance appraisal, grassroots governance in rural China and CDRF policy briefings on Chinese and global economy and social development. Starting from 2009, her professional experiences are focused on the implementation and evaluation of CDRF’s pilot program of early childhood development in poor rural areas. Dr. Liu’s work has been published in policy research reports of the Development Research Center of the State Council, and China Development Report 2011/2012.

Visiting dates: September 14, 2019 - August 31, 2020

Yang Yumei is an Assistant Professor at Beijing Forestry University and Research Fellow at IZA. She obtained her Ph.D. and M.A. in Economics at Remin University of China, and B.A. in Management from Shandong University. Her interests include Labor Economics and Personnel Economics, with a focus on the rural-urban migration in China, development of left-behind children, evaluation of labor market programs and the impact of HRM on labor relations.

Visiting dates: September 14, 2019 - August 31, 2020

Linfeng Fan is a visiting third year Ph.D. student from Renmin University of China's School of Labor and Human Resources. In his prior studies, he earned an M.A. in Agricultural Economics from Renmin University, as well as a B.A. in Applied Mathematics from Chongqing University of Science and Technology. Linfeng's current research, in preparation for his doctoral dissertation, examines child development and early skills formation, with a focus on the impact of China's one-child policy on the formation of both children's cognitive and non-cognitive skills. He specifically looks to the questions of whether families change their fertility preferences, whether families increase their investment on their children's cognitive or non-cognitive skills, or alter its proportion, and whether families over-invest on those cognitive skills in order to guide his research.