Jere Behrman Announces New Research Project

Early-Life Human Capital Investments in Sub-Saharan Africa

Project on Human Capital Development in Africa

Co-PIs: Jere R. Behrman and Claudia Vazquez

Jere Behrman (PSC/PARC Research Associate) and Claudia Vazquez (University of San Andres, Argentina) summarize what is known and what is yet to be explored in Early-Life Human Capital Investments in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) as part of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC).

The project aims to:

  1. Describe current patterns of human resource investments in the preschool ages in SSA;
  2. Summarize what is known from previous studies in SSA and in other low- and middle-income countries about the determinants and the impacts of these human resource investments;
  3. Present new estimates of the “cost of inaction” in terms of lost future earnings from not making these investments, and;
  4. Present new estimates of the costs in terms of these investments in the COVID-19 pandemic and related policies.

The African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is undertaking a collaborative project on "Human Capital Development in Africa." Human capital investments in nutrition, health, education and training are widely perceived to be important components of economic development. Currently such investments are relatively low in most of SSA. Behrman and Vazquez, together with the results of other parts of the AERC project, will be presented in Kenya later this year and submitted for consideration for a special journal issue.


Black, Maureen, Jere R. Behrman, et al. 2021. “Nurturing Care Promotes Human Capital and Mitigates Adversities from Preconception through Adolescence.” BMJ Global Health.