Published: March 2011

The Welsh Economic Review 22(Spring) pp 36-42

The human capital, or the health, education and skills of the next generation, will be fundamental in determining their labour market success and the future prosperity of the Welsh economy. While it is today’s children who will form this future generation economic analysis typically ignores this group until they reach working age. However, there is now a growing body of theoretical and empirical research which demonstrates that an individual’s health and development in childhood is an important determinant of their later (adult) economic outcomes (see, for example, Case, Fertig and Paxson, 2005). Further, it is argued that early policy intervention is more effective in changing the fortunes of those from disadvantaged backgrounds, with the rate of return to policy interventions among young children being higher than those among adolescents (see, for example, Cunha and Heckman, 2007).

Childhood, Obesity, Wales, WISERD