Heckman Study: Education, Nutrition Improve Language Skills for Children in Rural ChinaMarch 13, 2019
We found a very substantive impact on their language development, even among fairly young children...These are aspects that we know are important to a child’s long-term trajectory. Early spoken language is a precursor and predictor of later life development.
A groundbreaking study by University of Chicago scholars could have a profound impact on the lives and futures of children in poverty-stricken communities of rural China. Prof. James Heckman, a pioneering economist and Nobel laureate, led an innovative early childhood trial that evaluated the long-term impact of providing nutritional support and psychosocial stimulation to at-risk children in China—tens of millions of whom are left alone in their rural communities when their parents travel to urban areas for work.
As part of the Rural Education and Child Health project (ChinaREACH), Heckman and fellow UChicago scholars worked with the China Development Research Foundation to collect data on child health, development and home environment. They found children who received both nutritional and educational interventions showed significant advances in language skills, as well as social and emotional development. “We found a very substantive impact on their language development, even among fairly young children,” said Heckman, the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor in Economics and the College, whose groundbreaking work on the benefits of early childhood education has helped shaped the field.
Torgovitsky Awarded NSF CAREER GrantMarch 5, 2019
The Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics is pleased to announce that Alexander Torgovitsky has been awarded the National Science Foundation CAREER grant, the organization's most prestigious junior faculty award. The CAREER grant supports early-career faculty who "exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through [their] outstanding research, and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations." Torgovitsky, whose recent work has focused on developing new methodologies for estimating demand and identification of causal effects, will be Principal Investigator on the grant entitled, “CAREER – Identification as Optimization.” The goal of the proposed research is to widen the choice of available methodology in a way that gives researchers more flexibility in exploring the assumptions-conclusions frontier. Torgovitsky joined the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics faculty in 2017. (Photo courtesy Alex Torgovitsky)
Uhlig Op-ed: "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly" of the US' $22 Trillion DebtFebruary 28, 2019
Prof. Harald Uhlig recently wrote a guest Op-ed for the political news website The Hill, discussing the ramifications - both negative and positive - of the United States' $22 trillion dollar debt, which now has reached
...well above 100 percent of GDP...obviously, debt levels will not stop there either. Is this cause for alarm? There are respectable voices on both sides of that debate. So, what is the truth? The truth is that economists (myself included) are always of two minds, much to the chagrin of politicians. I am not here to give you a simple answer. I am here to illuminate the tradeoff...
Read the full article at The Hill. Prof. Uhlig is the Bruce Allen and Barbara Ritzenthaler Professor in Economics and the College at the Kenneth C. Griffin Department of Economics at the University of Chicago.