Human Capital Initiative

The Human Capital Initiative focuses on understanding the productive potential embodied in individuals – their skills, health, and other capabilities. Particularly in developing countries, this is the main asset people own. The initiative focuses on two questions:

  1. What are the factors that shape individuals’ accumulation of human capital? We investigate what factors lead people to invest in health or education for themselves, for their family members, or their fellow citizens, as well as how the structure of education and health markets affects countries’ levels of human capital.
  2. What are the consequences of such investments for economic outcomes? This question encompasses issues such as to the extent to which increased human capital raises people’s wages, and the extent to which it enhances countries’ economic growth.

The Human Capital Initiative is led by CDEP Co-Director Cristian Pop-Eleches.