Jere R. Behrman

Office Address: 

616 PCPSE, 133 South 36th Street



  • PSC and PARC Researchers Linda H. AikenHerb L. SmithJere R. BehrmanDavid Bravo and Matthew D. McHugh and co-authors published an article in The Lancet Global Health entitled, "Hospital Nurse Staffing and Patient Outcomes in Chile: A Multilevel Cross-sectional Study." The study showed that establishing safe nurse staffing standards in hospitals in Chile could save lives, prevent readmissions, shorten hospital stays, and reduce costs. Read more in the Penn Nursing press release and Penn Today.

  • New Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC): Liu, Xiaoying, Huazhang Miao, Jere Behrman, Emily Hannum, Zhijiang Liang, and Qingguo Zhao. 2021. "The Asian Games, Air Pollution and Birth Outcomes in South China: An Instrumental Variable Approach." University of Pennsylvania Population Center Working Paper (PSC/PARC), 2021-72. 

  • Early-Life Human Capital Investments in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Project on Human Capital Development in Africa

    Co-PIs: Jere R. Behrman and Claudia Vazquez

    Jere Behrman (PSC/PARC Research Associate) and Claudia Vazquez (University of San Andres, Argentina) summarize what is known and what is yet to be explored in Early-Life Human Capital Investments in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) as part of the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC).

    The project aims to:

    1. Describe current patterns of human resource investments in the preschool ages in SSA;
    2. Summarize what is known from previous studies in SSA and in other low- and middle-income countries about the determinants and the impacts of these human resource investments;
    3. Present new estimates of the “cost of inaction” in terms of lost future earnings from not making these investments, and;
    4. Present new estimates of the costs in terms of these investments in the COVID-19 pandemic and related policies.

    The African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is undertaking a collaborative project on "Human Capital Development in Africa." Human capital investments in nutrition, health, education and training are widely perceived to be important components of economic development. Currently such investments are relatively low in most of SSA. Behrman and Vazquez, together with the results of other parts of the AERC project, will be presented in Kenya later this year and submitted for consideration for a special journal issue.


    Black, Maureen, Jere R. Behrman, et al. 2021. “Nurturing Care Promotes Human Capital and Mitigates Adversities from Preconception through Adolescence.” BMJ Global Health. 

William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Economics
Professor of Sociology

Ph.D., Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1966

I am an international researcher in empirical microeconomics, labor economics, human resources (early childhood development, education, health, and nutrition, project evaluation, economic demography, incentive systems and household behaviors. The unifying dimension of much of my research is to improve empirical knowledge of the determinants of and the impacts of human resources given unobserved factors such as innate health and ability, the functioning of various institutions such as households and imperfect markets, and information imperfections.

In May 2017, I was awarded the Irene B. Taeuber Award “in recognition of an unusually original or important contribution to the scientific study of population, or for an accumulated record of exceptionally sound and innovative research.” I accepted invitations with over 40 national/international organizations as a keynote or invited speaker and have held leadership roles in numerous lifecourse focused projects and organizations including the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council Committee on Population, and NIH/NICHD National Advisory Council. I have collaborated with over 250 researchers since 2012 on publications, research grants, national and international conferences, meetings and workshops. I am currently a mentor/investigator with early career investigator Sharon Wolf (Assistant Professor, Education and PSC Associate) on a recently awarded grant funded through The British Academy Early Childhood Development Programme full projects, so far 85 publications, seven opportunities for mentoring post docs. A snapshot of my career includes: principal investigator on over seventy research projects funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (twenty-three grants), U.S. National Science Foundation (thirteen grants), and a number of other governmental and foundation sources and have published over 500 scholarly articles and book chapters in addition to over 35 books.

My research relates to the following three PARC themes: Health Disparities in AgingGlobal Aging and Health, and Early Life-Conditions and Older Adult Health, Behavior and Well-being, with some of my recent research also relating to the Cognition and Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia (ADRD) theme. I bring to the PARC a number of strengths: (1) Extensive experience in interdisciplinary data collection and research collaboration on a range of topics pertaining to health and education over the life cycle with particular emphasis on the determinants of early childhood development and the longer-run implications of early childhood development into adolescence and beyond in developing country contexts. (2) Expertise and considerable experience in data collection, modeling and estimation approaches to permit inferences about sociodemographic relations. (3) Active research participation not only in economics and demography but also in the nexus among the social sciences, health, nutrition, and program evaluation.


  • The Spotlight Series: Jere R. Behrman and Irma T. Elo on Assessing Cognition in Elderly Populations in Chile
  • Child Well-being and Development Podcast Series: Jere R. Behrman on Early Life Undernourishment
  • Young Lives: Jere R. Behrman Presents Comentario a estudio longitudinal Niños del Milenio [Commentary on the Young Lives Longitudinal Study]