Libertad González is the recipient of a European Research Council Consolidator Grant for her project, “The Causal Effect of Public Policy and Income on Child Health and Human Capital.” In this short video, González provides a brief overview of the project’s main objectives.
Professor González plans to study the effects of early shocks on health and human capital formation during childhood. She will do so by taking advantage of several natural experiments in a country, Spain, for which high quality administrative data are available for the past 35 years. State of the art econometric techniques, combined with large sample sizes, will allow her to evaluate credibly and precisely the causal effects of a number of different public policies and shocks on child development.
Professor González will consider five different “shocks” in early childhood, affecting:
- Household material resources (an unconditional mother’s allowance)
- Parental time (subsidized paternity leave)
- Medical treatments around birth (elective delivery)
- The availability of family planning services (access to abortion)
- Aggregate demand shocks to different sectors of the economy
She will evaluate their impact on health and cognitive development at ages 0-15. She will also study the potential channels linking treatments to child outcomes. Her results will help us understand how shocks in early life can have long-term effects on human capital, with direct policy implications.