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My research has focussed fundamentally on the behaviour of households that contribute in areas such as macroeconomics and development seeking to generate new tools to understand household decisions in developing countries related to foster investment in childrens human capitalEarly childhood development is essential when we want to improve society as a whole An increasing body of studies in neuroscience psychology and economics shows that the first three years of life are critical for the future development of children In particular Heckman et al 2006 find that cognitive and non-cognitive abilities are critical to the future performance on a series of social and labour market outcomes enrolment rates wages work experience crime rates early pregnancies drug use in the labour market among others Hence stimulation of these abilities plays a crucial role on the childs future and in the social development of future generations Heckman and Masterov 2007 show in a cost-benefit analysis that a right investment in early life has a greater economic return than the same investment for adults This effect is even stronger for most disadvantaged children which has higher proportion in developing countries In terms of the state of the literature the international evidence suggests that early childhood development is essential when we want to improve the success of our future children since early development provides the foundation for mental and physical health and for academic and labour performance There are two main branches of literature one written by neuroscientists and psychologists and the other by economists The reading of the first suggests that in early childhood it occurs the main development of the brain which makes early stimulation particularly beneficial At this stage environmental stimulation in children results in generation of new neural connections that alter brain organization Consequently non-appropriate or lack of stimulation at all in early childhood not only prevents the growth of neural connections but also makes their number diminish progressively Meanwhile the economic research in recent years
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