- CEHD Director James J. Heckman recently gave a lecture on ways to promote economic and social opportunity in Brazil. The event, “The challenges of early childhood: Why investing in children from zero to 6 years will change Brazil,” was organized by Exame and VEJA magazines and supported by the Maria Cecilia Souto Vidigal Foundation, Femsa Foundation, and United Way Brazil.
New Research: An Analysis of the Memphis Nurse-Family Partnership Program, by James J. Heckman et al.In a new working paper James J. Heckman and co-authors analyze a randomized control trial of the widely-known Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) program that took place in Memphis in 1990. The program provided home visits with nurses to disadvantaged, first-time mothers from pregnancy until two years after birth. NFP aimed to improve the long-term success of disadvantaged children “by promoting healthy maternal behaviors and by fostering parenting skills.” This paper evaluates the impact through age 12.
- Professor James Heckman shared recent research on investing in early childhood education at the Aspen Ideas Festival in June. Heckman, who spoke on the Aspen, CO panel alongside entrepreneur Jackie Bezos, discussed ideas for applying his research to social policy. “What I want to argue today is that successful programs, successful interventions…promote social mobility,” he said. He noted that a major obstacle for lifting families out of poverty is the diminished social mobility of low-income children. “We need to think about the family and supporting the family.” Professor Heckman provided evidence from his work showing that childcare and child development are integrally related, noting that low quality childcare can have harmful effects. You can listen to the panel, titled “The ROI That Matters: Investing in Kids and Families to Build a New Economy” below. Play “The ROI That Matters: Investing in Kids and Families to Build a New Economy”
- All childcare programs are not alike. New research by Center director James J. Heckman and co-authors provides evidence that low-quality childcare can actually have harmful effects on child development, particularly for boys. “Gender Differences in the Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program,” by Professor Heckman, Jorge Luis García, and Anna Ziff, also helps elucidate recent claims about the harm caused by childcare programs.
- “The Life-cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program,” a recent working paper by Center Director James Heckman, Jorge Luis García, and co-authors, was featured this week in a New York Times article on the importance of high-quality early childhood education. The article notes the multi-generational benefits of early childhood investment.
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
Conference on Measuring and Assessing Skills 2017
This conference assembles leading economists, education experts, psychologists, neuroscientists, and measurement specialists to examine and evaluate alternative approaches to the measurement of skills. Learn more
Conference on Genetics and Social Science
This conference will be the next installment in the conference series of the Research Network on the Determinants of Life Course Capabilities and Outcomes, and will be hosted at The USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. Learn more
A Proposed Early Childhood Randomized Study in Hong Kong
Richard Wong, University of Hong Kong
This presentation looked at a randomized control study on family-based and internet-based interventions in Hong Kong with background on the rise of single parent families.
Lifecycle Working Group: Joint Choice of Education and Occupation: The Role of Parental Occupation
Miriam Gensowski, University of Copenhagen
This presentation brought a fresh perspective to inequality in educational attainment, suggesting occupational sorting as an unexplored channel that may depress education outcomes in children from less advantaged families, in addition to established considerations such as school readiness and financing constraints.
University of Hong Kong
Visiting dates: December 6 2016
Richard Wong is founding Director of the Hong Kong Centre for Economic Research (1987-) and the Hong Kong Institute of Economics and Business Strategy (1999-); a recipient of the Sir Antony Fisher International Memorial Award for his work in advancing economic research on policy issues in Hong Kong; and principal investigator of the Area of Excellence Grant in economic policy and business strategy awarded by the University Grants Committee in 1999.
University of Copenhagen
Visiting dates: November 14–22, 2016
Miriam Gensowski is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics of the University of Copenhagen, and previous Research Assistant at the Center. Gensowksi's areas of research is at the intersection of labor economics and economics of education, and draws on personality economics and micro-econometric techniques. Her most recent research project studies the role of skills and parents in explaining occupational sorting, education, and wages.
University of Copenhagen
Visiting dates: November 16 – 25, 2016
Remi Piatek is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics of the University of Copenhagen, and previously worked as a Postdoctoral Scholar at the Center. His areas of research draws on Bayesian econometrics, factor modeling, mixture modeling, and computational econometrics. He is currently developing nonparametric methods for the inference of factor models that relax the usual normality assumption of the latent factors - widely used in practice, but which can be too restrictive in real data applications.