News and Announcements
- Jiawei Lyu is a master’s student in Economics at Jinan University. As part of The Chicago-Jinan Initiative, a collaboration between CEHD and Jinan University’s Institute for Economic and Social Research, she was the inaugural visiting graduate student at the center in the fall of 2018. During her time at CEHD, she worked on the Mianzhu project, a collaboration with Jinan University on the topic of China’s left-behind children. Her current research interests include labor market discrimination, gender differences and left-behind children in China.
- CEHD Director James Heckman has “demonstrated the economic case for why the best investment a policymaker can make is in the earliest years of childhood,” writes Quartz. Read the full article here.
- The Center for the Economics of Human Development (CEHD) at the University of Chicago is actively hiring Predoctoral Fellows (Research Specialist 2) to conduct and disseminate rigorous interdisciplinary research that identifies and explores the conditions under which people develop the skills necessary to thrive in society and achieve their fullest potential. Descriptions for past and ongoing projects can be found on the Center’s website.
- CEHD Executive Director Alison Baulos and CEHD alumni Jorge Luis Garcia discuss the importance of high-quality early childhood education in a Policies for Action blog post. The authors highlight the research efforts, led by CEHD Director James Heckman and Schaeffer Center Director Dana Goldman, on the costs and benefits of The Carolina Abecedarian Project (ABC) and the Carolina Approach to Responsive Education (CARE), two essentially identical early childhood programs. “ABC/CARE represents a 13.7 percent per-year, return on investment (tax-adjusted),” the authors write. “Our benefit/cost analysis predicts the program generates a benefit of over $7 for every dollar spent.” Bails and Garcia conclude that it is essential for policy makers not to focus on the short-term academic gains of early childhood education. “The more relevant measure of value is the long-term health, social and economic benefits produced,” they write. “We have powerful evidence that high-quality early childhood education is a cost-effective strategy for supporting life-long health outcomes, promoting economic growth, and reducing social costs.” You can read the full article here. You can read more about Heckman and Goldman’s research project here.
- 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.
The data provide clear guidelines for action. American policy should acknowledge the power of the accident of birth. A child does not choose the family he or she is born into. But society can enrich the opportunities of disadvantaged children to flourish.
– James J. Heckman
Events and Workshops
University of Chicago Policy Forum: Assessing the Contributions of Behavioral Economics to Economic Science:
Chicago Economics has historically fostered intense discussions for the design and implementation of economic policy and the role of theory in guiding interpretation of evidence. Both are distinctive to the Chicago approach to economics. The forum will nurture the rich vitality of the Chicago tradition by engaging elite scholars on and off campus and will raise the level of discussion of economic policy based on credible statements of existing knowledge. Learn more.
LWG: Separating Skills from Effort in the Identification of Factor Models and Implications for the Gender Gap
Jake Torcasso, The University of Chicago
Jake Torcasso is a Ph.D. student in Economics at the University of Chicago. He studies how education, knowledge, and skills affect quality of life, both directly and through expanding the budget set through increased earnings. He is also interested in how people's expectations, beliefs, and preferences shape decisions that affect the accumulation of human capital.. Learn More Here
Visiting dates: March 14 – 15, 2019
Rasmus Landersø is a Senior Researcher at the Rockwool Foundation Research Unit. His research includes work on social mobility, the role of cognitive and noncognitive skills, and the origins of criminal behavior over the life-course.
Visiting dates: March 4 – 15, 2018
Kjell G. Salvanes is Professor in Economics at Norges Handelshøyskole (the Norwegian School of Economics), a Research Associate at CEPR, and a Research Fellow at IZA. His research focuses primarily on early childhood experiences and education.
LMU Munich & briq
Visiting dates: February 19 - 21 2019
Fabian Kosse is Professor for Applied Economics at LMU Munich and is affiliated with the Institute on Behavior and Inequality at the University of Bonn. His fields of specialization are economics & psychology and applied microeconometrics. He is especially interested in how preferences, personality, and skills are formed, and he particularly focuses on the role of the early social environment. Moreover, he also explores consequences of individual heterogeneities on educational, health, and labor market outcomes. Methodologically, he combines long-term field experiments with microeconometric panel data methods, incentivized measures, and the use of biomarkers.
University of Cyprus
Visiting dates: February 15, 2018 – July, 2019
Andros Kourtellos is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Cyprus. His primary research interests are econometrics, inequality, social mobility, economic growth, and macroeconomics. His work has documented the existence of status traps in intergenerational mobility, which can reduce the impact of favorable shocks or interventions for disadvantaged children and so hinder upward mobility. Recently, he also developed estimation and inference for a structural threshold regression model, which is particularly useful for the estimation of multiple equilibria and poverty traps. In general, his work focuses on issues of model uncertainly, parameter heterogeneity, nonlinearities, and mixed frequencies. His findings highlight the difficulty in evaluating causal claims when theory provides insufficient guidance for econometric specification, as is typically the case in empirical economic growth.