University of Minnesota and Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank form Human Capital Research Collaborative

April 24, 2009

In order to advance multidisciplinary research on human development and social policy, the University of Minnesota has partnered with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis to establish the Human Capital Research Collaborative (HCRC). Previously known as the Early Childhood Research Collaborative, the human capital approach is designed to advance research and scholarship on the identification and dissemination of cost-effective interventions, programs and policies from birth to the transition to adulthood.

To describe the work of the HCRC, a mini-conference will be held from 1-5 p.m. on Monday April 27 in Cowles Auditorium at the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, 301 19th Avenue S., Minneapolis. The theme of the conference is "Promoting Child Health and Well-Being from Birth to Age Five."

“[The HCRC] conducts research on the effectiveness and of spectrum programs and policies in the first two decades of life and their active ingredients," said Arthur Reynolds, co-director of the conference and professor of child development at the U of M. "In a era of accountability and limited resources for social programs, identification of the most cost-effective strategies to enhance child well-being is more critical than ever."

"We want to bring together the best research on human capital and policy analysis in the country to help Minnesota and other states develop high quality programs and services from prenatal development to adulthood,” said Arthur Rolnick, Senior Vice President and Director of Research at the Federal Reserve in Minneapolis.

In addition to Reynolds’ and Rolnick’s introduction of the Collaborative, four research studies will be presented at Monday's conference by participating Collaborative researchers. Economist Judy Temple and U of M nursing professor Jayne Fulkerson will report on the health predictors of school readiness in the national Early Childhood Longitudinal Study.

Conference topics will also include the findings from the evaluation of the Ounce Project, an assessment tool to enhance teaching practices in early education settings; a report on the long-term effects of child abuse and neglect from the Minnesota Longitudinal Study of Parent and Children; and a presentation on the short- and long-term effects of two years versus one year of preschool for children in the Child-Parent Center program, a well-known education and family support early childhood intervention.

The HCRC is a unique partnership that brings together prominent researchers and faculty members at the university with economists at the Federal Reserve to develop and synthesize research on cost-effective investments in young people and to conduct research on high-profile policy discussions and social issues ranging from the prevention of school failure and delinquency to promoting family well-being and mental health.

Co-directed by Reynolds and Rolnick, the HCRC is funded by the McKnight Foundation with additional support from interdisciplinary initiatives of the U of M's Graduate School. Collaborating units include, among others, the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, Institute of Child Development, College of Education and Human Development and the Center for Early Education and Development.