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The Causal Effect of Public Policy and Income on Child Health and Human Capital

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 MISSINGMIDDLE project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the MISSINGMIDDLE project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "MISSINGMIDDLE" about.

administrative    mother    cognitive    time    ages    of    documented    shocks    child    missing    country    abortion    unconditional    childhood    sources    policy    subsidized    types    experiments    allowance    techniques    aggregate    35    services    policies    records    infancy    children    origins    data    patterns    outcomes    adult    interventions    implications    leave    little    household    ways    measured    credibly    treatments    adulthood    spain    understand    planning    school    medical    hypothesis    causal    birth    prenatal    literature    quality    life    labor    material    econometric    sectors    capital    market    fetal    sizes    paternity    fill    care    15    channels    me    linking    young    size    precisely    substantial    family    primary    standardized    direct    human    elective    economy    combined    grades    expenditure    natural    parental    public    demand    gap    wages    middle    hospital    fertility    compare    health    advantage    economics    postnatal    scores   

Project "MISSINGMIDDLE" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: PLACA DE LA MERCE, 10-12
postcode: 8002

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Spain [ES]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙048˙750 €
 EC max contribution 1˙048˙750 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2017-COG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-03-01   to  2023-02-28


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSIDAD POMPEU FABRA ES (BARCELONA) coordinator 1˙048˙750.00


 Project objective

A recent literature in economics on the “fetal origins hypothesis” has documented that a range of early (prenatal and postnatal) shocks and interventions can have substantial effects on long-term human capital formation (e.g. adult health, wages). However, we still know little about the years in between early infancy and adulthood, referred to as the “missing middle”. How do early shocks affect health and human capital formation during childhood? How do the effects of different types of interventions, or shocks at different ages, compare? What are the most cost-effective ways of improving young children’s future outcomes?

I aim to fill this gap in the literature by taking advantage of a range of 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 me to evaluate credibly and precisely the causal effects of a number of different public policies and shocks on child development.

I will consider five different “shocks” in early childhood (at different ages), affecting: i) Household material resources (an unconditional mother’s allowance); ii) Parental time (subsidized paternity leave); iii) Medical treatments around birth (elective delivery); iv) The availability of family planning services (access to abortion); and v) Aggregate demand shocks to different sectors of the economy.

I will evaluate their impact on health and cognitive development at ages 0-15, as measured in hospital and primary health care records, school grades, and standardized test scores, among other data sources. I will also study the potential channels linking treatments to child outcomes, including family size (fertility), parental time use and labor market outcomes, expenditure patterns, etc.

My results will help us understand how shocks in early life can have long-term effects on human capital, with direct policy implications.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Lídia Farré, Libertad González
Does paternity leave reduce fertility?
published pages: 52-66, ISSN: 0047-2727, DOI: 10.1016/j.jpubeco.2018.12.002
Journal of Public Economics 172 2019-11-28

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The information about "MISSINGMIDDLE" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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