News and Announcements
- CEHD Director James J. Heckman has been tapped to join Illinois Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker’s transition committee on education. The transition team was announced on November 27 at the Genevieve Melody STEM Elementary School in the West Garfield Park neighborhood of Chicago.
- In their new working paper, “Publishing and Promotion in Economics: The Tyranny of the Top Five,” CEHD Director James J. Heckman and CEHD Predoctoral Fellow Sidharth Moktan examine the relationship between top five publications and tenure decisions.
Academic Partnership Between CEHD and the Universidade de São Paulo to Focus on Early Childhood InterventionThe Center for the Economics of Human Development (CEHD) at The University of Chicago and the Universidade de São Paulo (USP) are partnering on a collaborative research initiative focusing on early childhood intervention.
Collaborative Research Between CEHD and IESR at Jinan University, China, Will Explore Human FlourishingThe Center for the Economics of Human Development (CEHD) at The University of Chicago and the Institute for Economic and Social Research (IESR) at Jinan University are partnering on collaborative research exploring human flourishing.
- Professor James J. Heckman recently spoke to the Financial Times regarding his findings on early childhood development. He told FT that evidence shows that many early childhood programs “are not as powerful as some people had hoped.”
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
LWG: Causality in the Time of Cholera: John Snow as a Prototype for Identification and Causal Inference
Thomas Coleman, Harris School of Public Policy
Abstract: Snow's 1855 treatise "On the mode of communication of cholera" can be viewed as a sustained effort to convince skeptics, through argument and a wide variety of evidence, of the waterborne theory of cholera that he articulated in his 1849 essay of the same name. Snow's data and analysis provide a prototype for how to convincingly demonstrate causal effects, as applicable today as in 1855. I consider two of strands of Snow's evidence - the Broad Street outbreak and the south London "Grand Experiment" - as pedagogical examples for using non-experimental data as evidence in support of a causal effect. In doing so I discuss extensions to Snow's south London analysis using modern techniques and tools: difference-in-differences regression and quasi-randomized treatment designs. These provide clear and compelling examples of the modern techniques and tools, while confirming and strengthening Snow's original conclusion on the causal effect of water supply on cholera mortality.
The workshop takes place at 5:15pm at 5750 S. Woodlawn Avenue, Conference Room 180. Please enter through Saieh Hall. This interdisciplinary workshop is open to the campus research community.
LWG: Breaking the Links: Natural Resource Booms and Intergenerational Mobility
Kjell Salvanes , NHH Norwegian School of Economics
Do large economic shocks increase intergenerational earnings mobility through creating new economic opportunities? Alternatively, do they reduce mobility by reinforcing the links between generations? In this paper, we estimate how the Norwegian oil boom starting in the 1970s affected intergenerational mobility. We find that this resource shock increased intergenerational mobility for cohorts entering the labor market at the beginning of the oil boom in those labor markets most affected by the growing oil industry. The workshop takes place at 5:15pm at 5750 S. Woodlawn Avenue, Conference Room 180. Please enter through Saieh Hall. This interdisciplinary workshop is open to the campus research community.
LWG: Social Structure and the Local Structure of Human Mobility in Chicago
James Saxon is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the economics group of the Harris School, and a fellow of the Center for Spatial Data Science. He studies compactness as a tool for districting reform (gerrymandering), the graph structure of American neighborhoods, and the accessibility of public resources. In practice, this means constrained clustering algorithms. The workshop takes place at 5:15pm at 5750 S. Woodlawn Avenue, Conference Room 180. Please enter through Saieh Hall. This interdisciplinary workshop is open to the campus research community.
Avner Seror is research associate at the Smith Institute for Political Economy and Philosophy. His research focuses on the joint evolution of institutions and cultural norms, political economy and human development. Learn more
The purpose of this conference is to share evidence, ideas and perspectives about how to foster interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships to accelerate advances in breastfeeding research and lactation science and increase societal support for breastfeeding. Learn more
This conference will bring together experts in genetics, economics, sociology, psychology, and education, in order to advance an integration of research on the genetics of cognitive and non-cognitive skills, structural determinants of educational inequality, and the effects of large-scale educational interventions. Learn more
This conference will bring together scientists with backgrounds in genetics and the social sciences. Learn more
This conference will discuss how the latest advances in data collection can be informed by theory to jumpstart future insights into the factors that influence child development outcomes. Learn more
Visiting dates: October 15 – October 19, 2018
Victor Ronda is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Aarhus University and a researcher at the TrygFonden’s Centre for Child Research. Victor has broad interests in labor economics, health economics and child development. His current research includes work on the interplay between genetic endowments and childhood environment in human capital formation, the role of teachers in the development of children’s cognitive and emotional skills, and on the mixed-returns of emotional skills in determining later-life outcomes.
University of São Paulo Medical School
Visiting dates: October 8 – 12, 2018
Alexandra Brentani has been a faculty member in the Department of Pediatrics of FMUSP since 2011, working on social and preventive medicine and primary care. Since 2007 she has been involved with the Western Region Project – the Medical school primary care platform. As the Executive Director from 2007-2011, and later as a council member, she participated in the planning, implementation and management of the platform using community-based health care as a model. In the Department of Pediatrics, she has worked with the assessment of health programs and health policies on child development. In 2011, she established a cooperation agreement with the "Harvard Center on the Developing Child" and since then, in cooperation with Professor Gunther Fink, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health, she has conducted several research projects.
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.
University of Essex
Visiting dates: February 7 – 22, 2018
Marco Francesconi joined the University of Essex in September 2004. His main area of research is labour economics, with special interest in family economics, intergenerational links and labour market dynamics. Francesconi's recent work has appeared in the Economic Journal, Journal of Labor Economics, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, European Economic Review and Journal of Human Resources.
University of Sydney
Visiting dates: October 30 - November 24 2017
Stefanie Schurer is an Associate Professor (with tenure) in the School of Economics at the University of Sydney. Her research interest is in the Economics of Human Development. Most of her current projects explore the evolution of skills, preferences, and health over the lifecourse and the role that parents and the public sector play in determining these skills. One of her main work hypotheses is that inequality in the home environment - that is scarcity of good parenting - is a powerful determinant of the intergenerational persistence of disadvantage.