The Production Function of Human Capital in Developing Countries
Orazio Attanasio of University College London discusses human capital in developing countries as part of a day-long conference organized by James Heckman, Nobel Laureate and professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. Heckman also gave his concluding remarks on the conference, titled "Financing Human Capital Investment" and gathered prominent economists and policy practitioners from across the globe.
The conference represents the beginning of a systematic effort to understand the relationship between human capital development at the micro and macro levels. It was unique in its bringing together of macroeconomists who consider the aggregate consequences of heterogeneity and microeconomists whose research focuses on education. These scholars normally do not communicate, yet their work must be integrated to understand the role of finance in human capital formation. Heckman suggested that the focus of the research network should be enriched by considering family and community influences to develop a comprehensive understanding of the determinants of human flourishing.
The conference was hosted by the Markets Network, which studies how market frictions affect human capital formation and which determines the effects of policies designed to overcome the borrowing constraints that arise in the presence of such frictions. The network is part of the Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group (HCE), headed by Heckman, Hanover Investment Group’s Robert Dugger, and the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Steven Durlauf.