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Title: Essays in human capital development
Author: Blair, Debbie
ISNI:       0000 0004 8507 7858
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2020
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Human capital is the term used to describe the skills, experience, attitudes, aptitudes of an individual. It encompasses a wide array of skills that are contribute to the macroeconomic performance of an economy and the successful functioning of an individual. It is important for productivity, per capita incomes and sustaining growth. Insights from other disciplines such as psychology, child development and education can inform economic models. These disciplines have a long history of research on human capital, albeit using different labels. Overall, this thesis incorporates both constructs and methods from other disciplines, to help examine important research questions through an economic framework. These chapters contribute to our understanding of the development of human capital and socio-economic position. Chapter 2 and 3 examine the role of specific inputs in the human capital process. Both of these chapters focus on the earliest years of a childs' life, recognising their importance as critical periods of development. Chapter 2 expands the existing literature of human capital production function estimation by including preschool as an important input for explaining cognitive and health skills at age 5 and 8. It compares these estimates for four lower-middle income countries; Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam. Chapter 3 examines if the existing understanding of human capital production functions can be improved by including a measure of an infants' disposition - temperament - using a dataset from Ireland. In contrast to the other two chapters, Chapter 4 focuses on the full period of childhood and adolescence up to early adulthood. It proposes that existing measures of socio-economic status, such as education or income, may not be the most appropriate. It proposes a more composite measure that accurately captures the complex socio-economic positions of young people in today's economy. It examines the role of distinct types of negative shocks that occur at different points in the lifespan and how these impact the likelihood of being advantaged or disadvantaged in adulthood. It also links this measure of SES to parenting behaviours and human capital at 9 months, providing some insight into intergenerational transmission of human capital.
Supervisor: Keane, Michael ; Adams, Abigail Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available