The demands placed on teachers, schools and universities have never been higher; children are supposed to be prepared for the challenges of a global labour market within an extremely short period of time. What is often overlooked here, explains education economist Friedhelm Pfeiffer, is that a child’s development is to a large extent shaped by their family surroundings. Born in 1958, PD Dr. Friedhelm Pfeiffer studied Economics at the Universities of Freiburg, Bern, and Mannheim. After completing his doctorate, he started working at ZEW, where he is acting head of the ZEW Research Department “Labour Markets, Human Resources and Social Policy”. In 2002, he obtained his doctoral degree from the University of Mannheim. His research interests include the effects of optimised investment in education on individual and overall economic returns as well as the causes and consequences of individuals acquiring both cognitive and non-cognitive skills over the course of their lifetime. Pfeiffer is responsible for coordinating projects within the research network “Non-cognitive skills: Acquisition and Economic Consequences”, a research partnership funded by the Pact for Innovation and Research and involving the Universities of Chicago and Konstanz as well as the Centre for the Economics of Education in London and the Socio-economic Panel in Berlin.