New grant: Reducing Inequality Through Complementarities in Investments in Education and Health
Associate Professor Aline Bütikofer has recieved a 8 million NOK grant from The Research Council of Norway for the project "Reducing Inequality Through Complementarities in Investments in Education and Health".
Can inequality be reduced?
Associate Professor Aline Bütikofer has recieved a 8 million NOK grant from The Research Council of Norway for the four year project "Reducing Inequality Through Complementarities in Investments in Education and Health" at NHH.
The primary goal of the project is to analyse whether inequality can be reduced through complementarities in investments in education and health. Data from Norway and the US will be used to study the dynamic processes through which multiple inputs interact in affecting the emergence or prevention of inequalities. The results will have important policy relevance both for Norway and other countries in developing cost-effective policies to address these inequalities.
Increase in inequalities
In the past decades, many Western societies have experienced a sharp increase in inequalities along many dimensions, including education, income, and physical and mental health. These inequalities pose considerable challenges for the wellbeing of recent cohorts, and there is an acute need for rigorous research to inform the design of cost-effective policies to address them. Such research is, however, complex and requires a deep understanding of the causal processes underlying these inequalities.
In this project, Bütikofer and colleagues aim to understand the dynamic processes through which multiple policies interact in affecting the emergence and evolution of inequalities. Causally identifying interactions among policies requires (quasi)randomization in multiple periods or across multiple policies. To date, only a handful of papers were able to overcome this obstacle. In this project, they make use of administrative data from Norway paired with different interventions that allow us to empirically answer whether there is a dynamic component to human capital investment and in which periods human capital may be particularly affected by interventions. In particular, they study complementarities in infant health, early-life education, nutrition, and mental health and will carry out four separate projects.
The unique combination of knowledge about policy interventions or health shocks and high-quality register data will enable us to contribute to the international research frontier in labor and health economics. Additionally, our research will benefit policy-makers by informing the design of early life policies that can reduce social, economic and health inequalities.
The project will be based at NHH in Bergen from 2018-2022.
- Aline Bütikofer
- Katrine Løken
- Meghan Skira (University of Georgia)
- Prashant Bharadwaj (University of California, San Diego)
- Sara Abrahamsson
- Krzysztof Karbownik (Northwestern)