Jere R. Behrman was recently awarded funding from NIH for his project "Foundational Cognitive Skills in Developing Countries: Early-Life Nutritional, Climatic and Policy Determinants and Impacts on Adolescent Education, Socio-emotional Competencies and Risky Behaviors.”
Abstract: Early undernutrition and climate variation are widespread in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and claimed to have long-lasting consequences. However, there is little population-based evidence about mechanisms through which early-life undernutrition and climatic variations lead to poorer adolescent and adult outcomes and whether early-life deficits may be mitigated. This project investigates impacts of undernutrition and climatic variations on foundational cognitive skills (FCS), importantly including executive function (EF). The project uses unique data on FCS collected in Ethiopia and Peru as part of the Young Lives Study (YLS), the largest multi-country cohort dataset on childhood poverty and wellbeing in LMICs. The analysis promises significant contributions for (1) deeper understanding of how early-life nutrition, climatic variations and other events affect FCS, (2) how policy interventions can help mitigate the effects of early childhood poverty through affecting EF in contexts of two very different countries, (3) what are the impacts of late childhood FCS on adolescent outcomes.
New Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC): Amin, Vikesh, Jere Behrman, Jason Fletcher, Carlos Flores, Alfonso Flores-Lagunes, and Hans-Peter Kohler. 2019. "Mental Health, Schooling Attainment and Polygenic Scores: Are There Significant Gene-Environment Associations?." University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC), 2019-24.
PSC & PARC Associate, Irma T. Elo has been awarded the 2019 Making a Difference in Diverse Communities Grant for her "Cognitive Decline with Aging in Diverse Chilean Communities and in Comparison with Mexico and the U.S" project with fellow PSC & PARC Associate Jere R. Behrman.
Teacher Training & Early Education in Ghana.
On Tuesday, October 10th PSC Research Associates Sharon Wolf and Jere R. Behrman accompanied by experts from New York University and Innovations for Poverty Action-Ghana. They presented findings from two rigorous studies on teacher training and efforts to improve early childhood education. Members of the audience included representatives from Ghana Education Services, Ministry of Education, the World Bank, and other key stakeholders. “What we found was that the in-service teacher training improved the number of play-based, child-friendly activities teachers used and improved the quality of teacher-child interactions,” said Dr. Sharon Wolf, Assistant Professor of Psychology and Human Development at the University of Pennsylvania and principal investigator for the study. “The program also reduced teacher burnout, as well as teacher turnover in the private sector,” Wolf added. Read the full article here.
Last month Jere R. Behrman and colleagues presented the Lancet report "Supporting early childhood development: form science to large-scale application." According to the study, an alarming 43% of children under the age of 5 living in low and middle income countries are at risk of inadequate development due to poverty and stunting. These negative effects extend to adulthood and the results are low economic income and the generation of social tensions. It is estimated that people affected by a bad start in life suffer a loss of about a quarter of the average annual income in adulthood, while countries can lose up to double their current expenditure on Gross Domestic Product in health and education. Important stakeholders including the Minister of Development and Social Includion, Fiorella Mollinelli, and the UNICEF representative for Peru, Maria Luisa Fornara attended the presentation. Photos of the event can be found at the UNICEF Peru Facebook Page.
Over the course of the past few years Hyunjoon Park, Jere Behrman, and Jaesung Choi have written about the relationship between single-sex schools students' STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) health outcomes. Recently a 2012 Working Paper about this topic was listed on SSRN's Top 10 download list for: Gender in the Global Research Landscape.
In a forthcoming version of the article Park, Behrman and Choi discuss the assignment of students into single-sex vs. coeducational high schools in Seoul, South Korea which provides an interesting context to study causal effects of single-sex schools.
Behrman, Elo, Hannum, Tishkoff named among the inaugural recipients of the Dean's Global Inquiries Fund.
Jere R. Behrman, the W. R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Economics and Sociology and Research Associate of the Population Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania, received the biennial Irene B. Taeuber 2017 award at the Population Association of America Annual Meetings in Chicago on 28 April. The Irene B. Taeuber award is presented in recognition of an unusually original or important contribution to the scientific study of population, or for an accumulated record of exceptionally sound and innovative research. Behrman’s research is in empirical micro economics, economic development, early childhood development, labor economics, human resources (education, training, health, nutrition), economic demography, household behaviors, life-cycle and intergenerational relations and policy evaluation. His network of collaborators spans the globe, ranges across multiple disciplines, and includes scholars from all career stages. He has published 415 articles in leading demographic, economic, sociology, public health, nutritional and biomedical journals and 35 books, and served on 157 Ph.D. dissertation committees.
Penn faculty and alumni were very present during the awards ceremony: Jere R. Behrman was presented the Irene B. Taeuber award (by Douglas Massey, a Penn alumnus). The Dorothy Swaine Thomas award is named after a former Penn faculty and first woman president of the American Sociological Association. The Harriet B. Presser award recipient, Frances Goldscheider, is a Penn alumna; so too is Robert J. Lapham award recipient was Cheikh Mbacke, a Penn alumnus. Cheikh could not attend, so this award was accepted by Ayagah Bawah, another Penn alumnus. Penn News also covered this occassion.
Photo credit: Art Antonik
Jere Behrman participated this week in the Mexican launch of the 2017 Lancet Series on Early Childhood Development at the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City. The audience was about 400 people from academia, the Mexican government including the Ministers of Health and Finance, international organizations, and the press. Jere Behrman and Rafael Peres-Escamilla, Professor of Epidemiology at Yale, gave the presentation after Gilles Bergson, Director of the Sackler Institute at the New Your Academy of Science, introduced them (photo: Jere Behrman on the left, Gilles Bergson on the right, and Rafael on the far right). This is one of about 10 launches of this series worldwide – Behrman has also participated in launches in India in October and in Chile in December 2016. This the third Lancet Series on Early Childhood Development; Jere Behrman was a co-author in the 2007 and 2011 Lancet Series, which have had considerable impact in making early childhood development a much higher priority on the global agenda and the agendas of many countries. The current series estimates that about 250 million children under five years of age in low- and medium-income countries are at risk of not fulfilling their potential, with substantial costs to society, and evaluates alternatives for alleviating this problem. To learn more about other Lancet series on Early Childhood Development click here.
New PSC/PARC Working Paper: Sudharsanan, N., J.R. Behrman, and H.-P. Kohler. 2016. "Limited Common Origins of Multiple Adult Health-Related Behaviors: Evidence from U.S. Twins." University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC) WP2016-2.
Jere R. Behrman's research with Team 1000+ Saving Brains colleagues on nutrition and child development and later life outcomes with was featured in the Penn current article "Increased protein key for early child development, Penn research shows."
Jere R. Behrman, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Economics and of Sociology at Penn, has been selected as one of nine new PAA Honorees. He also received the “proverbial gold watch” from School of Arts and Science Dean Steven Fluharty for over half a century of service and contributions to the University of Pennsylvania and to the economic and demographic professions. Behrman was cited for his service and leadership at Penn and nationally (including serving as Director of the PSC, on the PAA Board of Directors and on the NICHD Advisory Council), for being an investigator on over 160 research projects including 40 NIH and 14 NSF grants, for his prolific publications with over 400 published articles and 35 monographs, for being a dedicated mentor as reflected in receiving the Irving B. Kravis Award for Distinction in Undergraduate Teaching and serving on over 150 Ph.D. dissertation committees, and for having played basketball “so far in eight decades starting in the 1940s.”
For decades, Penn Nursing has been at the forefront of research evaluating the effects of adequate nurse staffing on improving patient outcomes around the world. Now, with the support of a Penn Global Engagement Fund Award, Penn Nursing faculty will have the opportunity to look specifically at the nursing workforce in Chile. Nursing faculty Dr. Linda Aiken, Dr. Eileen Lake, and Dr. Matthew McHugh, along with partners from the School of Arts and Sciences Dr. Jere Behrman and Dr. Herb Smith, received one of 12 Penn Global Engagement Fund Awards for the 2015-2016 academic year for their project titled Healthcare Workforce and Quality Outcomes: Lessons from Chile, United States and Europe. The team will work with the School of Nursing at Universidad de los Andes to survey nurses at 50 hospitals in Chile about issues such as a patient to staff ratio, relationships between doctors and nurses, and quality and safety assessments.
New PSC Working Paper: Fedor, Theresa M., Hans-Peter Kohler, and Jere R. Behrman. 2013. "The Impact of Married Individuals Learning HIV Status in Malawi: Divorce, Number of Sexual Partners, Condom Use with Spouses." PSC Working Paper Series, PSC 13-02.
Jere R. Behrman has been appointed to the National Research Council (NRC)-National Academies of Science (NAS) Committee on Population (CPOP) for three years. CPOP conducts scientific assessments of major population-related issues and provides a forum for the discussion and analysis of important public policy issues related to population. This was mentioned in the PENN Almanac.
Jere R. Behrman has been awarded a Bill and Linda Gates Foundation Grant for a two-year multi-country multi-institutional interdisciplinary study on “Early child growth and development in four countries: Young Lives.” The study is investigating the determinants of and the impacts of child growth recovery and child growth faltering after one year of age on child schooling success and cognitive and non-cognitive skill attainment in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam. This was mentioned in the PENN Almanac.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has appointed Jere R. Behrman as the Economics/Social Science member of the National Advisory Child Health and Human Development Council for the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/National Institute of Child Health and Development (NICHD) for three years.
Now available: Vikesh, Amin and Jere R. Behrman. 2011. "Do More-Schooled Women have Fewer Children and Delay Childbearing? Evidence from a Sample of U.S. Twins." Population Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania, PSC Working Paper Series, PSC 11-07.
A forthcoming article, on which Jere Behrman is an author, is cited in the Executive Summary of “Child Development” Lancet series (2011).
Hans-Peter Kohler and Jere R. Behrman participated in the Rethink HIV project by the Copenhagen Consensus Center and the Rush Foundation that focused on identifying effective interventions in the fight against HIV/Aids across sub-Saharan Africa. Their assessment paper for the prevention of the sexual transmission of HIV was the basis of the policy recommendations in this area.
Park and Behrman's working paper "Causal Effects of Single-Sex Schools on College Attendance: Random Assignment in Korean High Schools." PSC Working Paper Series, PSC 10-01, is available.