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Empirical Forum of Social Sciences (Session 12):Early Childhood Development

Lecturer:Flavio Cunha

Time:14:00-15:30

Date:2018-11-16

Venue:Academichall (first floor),WenLan building,International Business School,Chang'an Campus

Hosted by:Center for Experimental Economics in Education

About the Lecture:

In this talk, Professor Cunha will report on his work using data from the United States that shows that children's cognitive and noncognitive skills are determined by parental environments and investments at different stages of childhood. His talk will also outline a framework for evaluating childhood and schooling interventions that does not rely on arbitrarily scaled test scores as outputs and recognizes the differential effects of the same bundle of skills in different tasks. The results of Professor Cunha’s work can be used as the basis of determining how to optimally target interventions to children with different parental and personal birth endowments. The findings of his work have important implications for the design of policies that target the disadvantaged and do so relatively more in the early stages of childhood than in later stages.

Profile of the Lecturer:

Flávio Cunha is a Professor of Economics. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 2007 and taught at the University of Pennsylvania before joining the economics faculty at Rice. His areas of expertise are labor economics with special emphasis on human capital formation. He was recently awarded the Econometric Society's Frisch Medal for "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," a paper published in Econometrica that he wrote with Dr. James Heckman and Dr. Susanne M. Schennach. In partnership with the World Bank and the State of Ceara in Brazil, he developed, implemented, and evaluated a new home visitation program targeted to low-income families living in isolated rural areas in Brazil. In research funded by the National Institute of Health, he has shown that well-developed parenting programs foster human capital formation by improving the quality of the environment children have in their early years. He is faculty affiliate of the Texas Policy Lab, a new initiative of the Rice University School of Social Sciences. The Texas Policy Lab provides scientific expertise in designing, implementing, and evaluating public policies conducted by state or local government agencies free of charge.

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