Sunday, November 04, 2012

Journal Club The Economics of Child Well-Being

The next journal session is Monday 5th November at 1pm. It will look at the paper below by Conti and Heckman.

Questions for discussion:

What are the best measures of welfare of children and adults?

What is the integrated developmental approach outlined in the paper? In particular, how does the technology of human skill formation work to produce well-being and human capabilities?

What is the connection between the approach outlined in the paper and other well-being literatures?

How are such models estimated?

How do such models relate to other literatures such as the recent literatures examining childhood self-control and later life outcomes?

What is the role of psychological theory and measurement in conceptualising the dimensionality of human traits and their role in the evolution of outcomes?

What are the implications of recent findings for the development of public policy?

How is this informed by developing understanding of genetics and neuroscience?

The Economics of Child Well-Being*

Gabriella Conti
University of Chicago

James J. Heckman
University of Chicago, University College Dublin,
American Bar Foundation and IZA


This chapter presents an integrated economic approach that organizes and interprets the evidence on child development. It also discusses the indicators of child well-being that are used in international comparisons. Recent evidence on child development is summarized, and policies to promote child well-being are discussed. The chapter concludes with some open questions and suggestions for future research.

JEL Classification: J13, I21, D03, D04
Keywords: child development, human capital, early childhood education

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