The project studied the formation of human capital at different stages of the life-cycle based on multidisciplinary research, including views from economics, econometrics, neurobiology, survey analysis, and motivational psychology. The project expanded the ZEW's European and international networks. Our approach may help families, schools, governments and firms to formulate policies to foster the human capital of the future. Research was organised around the following topics:
1. Theory, methods and data
Suitable models have been developed for cognitive and non-cognitive skill formation all along the life-cycle that allowed us to study the effect of private and public educational investments on the individual and social well-being. Informal as well as formal education was considered. The properties of the technology of skill formation, self-productivity and complementarity, was analysed. In cooperation with SOEP Berlin and ZI Mannheim, adequate cross-section as well as longitudinal data was utilized for microeconometric research on the determinants and economic consequences of cognitive and noncognitive skills and human capital investment over the life-cycle.
2. Early childhood and the family
This part was devoted to the first fundamental period of skill acquisition: early childhood. In this period, mothers, fathers, the family of origin at large, friends and preschool institutions provide crucial inputs for subsequent skill acquisition. We studied the amount and quality of educational investment made by parents, their interaction with the preschool institutions as well as early skill acquisition until the age of five. The impact of an integration of kindergarten and primary education on the skills development of children has been analysed.
3. Formal education from childhood to early adulthood
This area focussed on cognitive and non-cognitive skill formation in formal educational institutions. This includes all formal stages of education from the primary school to university as well as vocational secondary school and alternative types of post secondary education. We conducted studies on e.g. the effect of school systems on educational performance, on the quality of teachers evaluation methods, on the introduction of information technologies in developing countries, and on the transition to the Bachelor system in the EU countries.
4. Labour market outcomes and life-long learning
In this part, life -long learning and the long-term consequences of skill acquisition has been researched. Among others, the relationship between skill and health formation, labour market participation, hours of work, occupational choice (e.g. self-employment) tenure and wages and their distribution was investigated. Empirical research on the relationship between the heterogeneity of cognitive and noncognitive skills, economic growth and income inequality was conducted. Based on the empirical evidence, policies to foster human capital had been discussed.

Selected Publications

Articles in Refereed Journals

Kosse, Fabian and Friedhelm Pfeiffer (2012), Impatience among Preschool Children and their Mothers, Economics Letters 115 (3), 493-495. Download

Pfeiffer, Friedhelm and Ruben Seiberlich (2011), Disconnected Young Adults in Germany: Initial Evidence, Schmollers Jahrbuch - Journal of Applied Social Science Studies 131 (2), 253-262.

Kosfeld, Michael and Susanne Neckermann (2011), Getting more work for nothing? Symbolic Awards and Worker Performance, American Economic Journal: Microeconomics. Download

Bartling, Björn, Ernst Fehr, Barbara Fischer, Fabian Kosse, Michel Maréchal, Friedhelm Pfeiffer, Jürgen Schupp, C. Katharina Spieß and Gert G. Wagner (2010), Geduld von Vorschulkindern – Ergebnisse einer Experimentalstudie im Haushaltskontext von Kindern, Schmollers Jahrbuch - Journal of Applied Social Science Studies 130(3), 297- 323.

Gebel, Michael and Friedhelm Pfeiffer (2010), Educational Expansion and its Heterogeneous Returns for Wage Workers, Schmollers Jahrbuch - Journal of Applied Social Science Studies 130(1), 19-42.

Mühlenweg, Andrea and Patrick Puhani (2010), The Evolution of the School Entry Age Effect in a School Tracking System, Journal of Human Resources 45(2), 407-438.

Blomeyer, Dorothea, Katja Coneus, Manfred Laucht and Friedhelm Pfeiffer (2009), Initial Risk Matrix, Home Resources, Ability Development and Children’s Achievement, Journal of the European Economic Association 7(2-3), 638-648.

Mühlenweg, Andrea (2008), Ein erster bildungsökonomischer Überblick mit besten Referenzen, Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft 11(2), 327-332.

Mühlenweg, Andrea (2008), Educational Effects of Alternative Secondary School Tracking Regimes in Germany, Schmollers Jahrbuch - Journal of Applied Social Science Studies 128(3), 351-379.

Gernandt, Johannes and Friedhelm Pfeiffer (2007), Rising Wage Inequality in Germany, Journal of Economics and Statistics 227 (4), 358-380.

Monographs, Contributions to Edited Volumes

Pfeiffer, Friedhelm (2010), Entwicklung und Ungleichheit von Fähigkeiten: Anmerkungen aus ökonomischer Sicht, in: Heinz-Hermann Krüger, Ursula Rabe-Kleberg, Rolf-Torsten Kramer und Jürgen Bude Studien zur Schul- und Bildungsforschung , LLL:citation.label.volume 30, Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, Wiesbaden, 25-44.

Gernandt, Johannes and Friedhelm Pfeiffer (2009), Wage convergence and inequality after unification: (East) Germany in transition, in: Ravi Kanbur und Jan Svejnar Routledge Studies in Development Economics, 1. Aufl., LLL:citation.label.volume 73, Routledge, London, 387-404.

Discussion and Working Papers

Pfeiffer, Friedhelm and Nico Johannes Schulz (2011), Gregariousness, Interactive Jobs and Wages, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 11-001, Mannheim. Download

Pfeiffer, Friedhelm and Ruben R. Seiberlich (2009), A Socio-economic Analysis of Youth Disconnectedness, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 09-070, Mannheim. Download

Bartling, Bjoern, Ernst Fehr, Barbara Fischer, Fabian Kosse, Michel Maréchal, Friedhelm Pfeiffer, Daniel Schunk, Juergen Schupp, C. Katharina Spieß and Gert G. Wagner (2009), Geduld von Vorschulkindern - Ergebnisse einer Experimentalstudie im Haushaltskontext von Kindern, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 09-069, Mannheim. Download

Blomeyer, Dorothea, Katja Coneus, Manfred Laucht and Friedhelm Pfeiffer (2008), Initial Risk Matrix, Home Resources, Ability Development and Children's Achievement, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 08-100, Mannheim. Download

Blomeyer, Dorothea, Katja Coneus, Manfred Laucht and Friedhelm Pfeiffer (2008), Self-Productivity and Complementarities in Human Development: Evidence from MARS, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 08-067, Mannheim. Download

Mühler, Grit, Michael Beckmann and Bernd Schauenberg (2007), The Returns to Continuous Training in Germany: New Evidence from Propensity Score Matching Estimators, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 07-048, Mannheim, LLL:citation.label.journal: Review of Managerial Science 1(3): 209-235. Download

Gebel, Michael and Friedhelm Pfeiffer (2007), Educational Expansion and its Heterogeneous Returns for Wage Workers, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 07-010, Mannheim. Download

Selected Events

Project duration

01.10.2007 - 31.12.2011

Contact
Cooperation partner

Prof. Dr. Peter Drewek, Universität Mannheim, Mannheim, DE
Prof. Tom Krebs, Ph.D., Universität Mannheim, Mannheim, DE
Dr. Anja Achtziger, Universität Konstanz, Konstanz, DE
Prof. Dr. Winfried Pohlmeier, Universität Konstanz, Konstanz, DE
Reyn van Ewijk, Universität von Amsterdam, Amsterdam, NL