Human Capital

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.



Does Universalization of Health Work?  Evidence from Health Systems Restructuring and Maternal and Child Health in Brazil


Investigators: CDEP Afflilate Rodrigo Soares.  

Selection on Ability and the Early Career Growth in the Gender Wage Gap

Investigators: CDEP Afflilate Rodrigo Soares.  

Assymetric Information in the Household: Fathers and Child Welfare

Investigators: CDEP Afflilate Anja Tolonen.  

Climate Change, Health and Gender Gaps in Human Capital Investment

Investigators: CDEP Afflilate Belinda Archibong and CDEP Fellow Francis Annan.

Imperfections in Migrant Labor Networks

Investigators: CDEP Affiliate Suresh Naidu with Shing-Yi Wang and Yaw Nyarko.

Financial Incentives and the Fertility-Sex Ratio Trade-Off

Investigators: CDEP Fellow S Anukriti.

Getting the Poor to Enroll in Health Insurance and its Effects on their Health: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment in Ghana

Investigators: CDEP Fellows Patrick Asuming and Hyuncheol Kim.

Externalities and Complementarities of AIDS Prevention Interventions: Evidence from Malawian Secondary Schools

Investigators: CDEP Co-Director Cristian Pop-Eleches, CDEP Student Affiliate Booyuel Kim, and Hyuncheol Kim of Cornell University.

The Big Sort: College Reputation and Labor Market Outcomes

Investigators: CDEP Affiliates Bentley MacLeod and Miguel Urquiola, CDEP Student Affiliate Evan Riehl of Columbia University and Juan Saavedra of the University of Southern California.

Teacher-Student Interactions and Child Outcomes: Evidence from Romanian Secondary Schools

Investigators: CDEP Co-Director Cristian Pop-Eleches, CDEP Affiliate Miguel Urquiola, and Ofer Malamud of the University of Chicago.

The Effects of Price Changes on Water Consumption and Bill Payment: Evidence from Bangalore

Investigator: CDEP Fellow Evan Plous.

Understanding Human Capital Accumulation in Developing Countries: A Field Experiment with Adaptive Technologies

Investigators: Supreet Kaur, Heather Schofield of the University of Pennsylvania and Sidra Rehman, PhD candidate, Columbia University.

Nominal Wage Rigidity in Village Labor Markets

Investigator: Supreet Kaur.