The environment in which you grow up has a large impact on where you end up later in life. This implies that inequalities in early life may amplify in adulthood. Many explanations for the relationship between childhood circumstances and human capital formation - e.g. genetics, child health, and the neighborhood you grow up in - may be correlated with one another, which makes it hard to identify the contribution of each individual factor. This dissertation uses quasi-experimental evidence to study how three childhood factors affect the child’s human capital formation. The focus of this dissertation lies on the role of the family, and specifically on how the family can affect the child’s human capital formation from before its conception to long after birth.

childhood circumstances, human capital
H.D. Webbink (Dinand) , A.C. Gielen (Anne)
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Tinbergen Institute research bulletin
Tinbergen Institute

Zwiers, E.S. (2019, July 4). About Family and Fate: Childhood circumstances and human capital formation (No. 740). Tinbergen Institute research bulletin. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from