Human Capital and Economic Opportunity

The Institute for New Economic Thinking awarded a grant to the Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group (HCEO)—headed by James J. Heckman of the University of Chicago, Steven Durlauf of the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and Robert Dugger of ReadyNation—to initiate a program of human capital and economic opportunity research. HCEO is now a working group of over 400 researchers, educators, and policy makers.

HCEO’s unique approach enables collaboration among scholars with varying disciplines, approaches, perspectives, and fields. This means the integration of biological, sociological, and psychological perspectives into traditionally economic questions. The result is innovative thinking and approaches to inequality and human capital development research.

The organization directs its efforts through six research networks that focus on the most pressing issues within human capital development and inequality: Early Childhood Interventions; Family Inequality; Health Inequality; Identity and Personality; Inequality: Measurement, Interpretation and Policy; and Markets. These networks produce one-of-a-kind conferences, research programs, and publications that highlight findings from the best science and the application of best practices.

Through its networks and their resulting research, HCEO plays a vital role in understanding and addressing opportunity inequality around the world.

For the latest updates on HCEO’s events, research, and news, please visit their website at

Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics
University of Chicago
Vilas Research Professor and Kenneth J. Arrow and Laurits R. Christensen Professor of Economics
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Founder and Managing Partner
Hanover Provident Capital LLC