Seminar Series

Early Life and the Roots of Economic Inequality


Janet Currie


Princeton University

Time & Place

Tue, 04 Jul 2017 17:30:00 NZST in LAWS 108 Lecture Theatre, Ground Floor Business & Law Building, University of Canterbury


In many industrial societies, increasing inequality has become a pressing social, political, and economic concern. Yet the roots of adult economic inequality often lie early in life. There is increasing evidence that adverse circumstances early in life, and even in utero, can leave lasting scars. Yet at the same time we have learned a great deal about how to compensate for early deprivation and there are many examples of successful interventions. Professor Currie will provide an overview of the literature highlighting the importance of early childhood and the fact that while children are fragile, they are also resilient.

In this lecture, Professor Currie provided an overview of the literature highlighting the importance of early childhood, discussed how to compensate for early deprivation, and shared examples of successful interventions.

  • See youtube video here


Janet Currie is the Henry Putnam Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University and the Director of Princeton’s Center for Health and Well Being. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, and the Econometric Society, as well as past Vice President of the American Economic Association and in-coming President of the Society of Labor Economists. She is on the Board of Reviewing Editors of Science magazine and on the editorial board of the Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Her research focuses on the health and well-being of children including early intervention programs, expansions of public health insurance, public housing, and food and nutrition programs. Her current research focuses on socioeconomic differences in child health, environmental threats to children’s health, and the long term effects of poor health in early childhood.