Permission of instructor required.
This course provides an overview of issues related to human capital in Latin America. Specific topics include determinants of health and education, evaluation of human capital development policies, and the role of human capital in a variety of economic contexts including the labor market, immigration, child investment, intra-household bargaining, inequality, and poverty.
Economists have long understood the importance of physical capital in explaining the development process, but more recently we have also studied the role of a society’s human capital, as embodied by its people’s education, skills, and health. We now know that increasing human capital is one of the most effective ways to stimulate economic growth and reduce poverty in the long term. In this class we will examine the determinants of human capital, the costs and benefits of policies designed to increase human capital, and the function of human capital in a variety of economic contexts including the labor market, immigration, child investment, intra-household bargaining, inequality, and even the drug trade. We will focus our analysis on Latin America, a diverse and growing region that has been on the forefront of implementing policies to improve human capital. These range from programs that pay parents to keep their children in school to universal health care and school vouchers. The course will emphasize reading articles from the empirical economics literature and in depth discussion of their theories, methods, and results.
Prerequisite: Intermediate Microeconomics and Econometrics
[Also LAST410b, EP&E228b and GLBL316b]