Logo Health Economics

Health Economics and Human Capital Development

The Health Economics research area of the Jacobs Center explores how conditions during pregnancy, in early childhood, and during adolescence shape human capital development, labor market success, and health later in life.

A particular focus is set on pregnancy conditions such as in-utero exposure to seasonal influenza. Influenza is the leading infectious disease in the Western world. Pregnant mothers who catch the virus tend to develop strong inflammatory responses which have the potential to impair fetal development, with long-lasting consequences for the offspring.

A second focus is set on mortality trends among infants, children, and young adults in the Western world, and the question whether mortality gaps between the rich and the poor have widened over time.