Founded in 2010, the Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group (HCEO) is a collaboration of over 400 researchers, educators and policy makers focused on human capital development and its impact on opportunity inequality. HCEO’s unique approach enables collaboration among scholars with varying disciplines, approaches, perspectives and fields. This means the integration of biological, sociological, and psychological perspectives into traditionally economic questions. The result is innovative thinking and approaches to inequality and human capital development research.

HCEO is led by Nobel laureate James J. Heckman, the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago; Steven N. Durlauf, the Vilas Research Professor and Kenneth J. Arrow Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison; and Robert H. Dugger, the co-founder of ReadyNation and Hanover Provident Capital.

The organization focuses its efforts through six research networks that focus on the most pressing issues within human capital development and inequality: Early Childhood Interventions; Family Inequality; Health Inequality; Identity and Personality; Inequality: Measurement, Interpretation and Policy; and Markets. These networks help to produce one-of-a-kind conferences, research programs, publications and education that highlight findings from the best science and the application of best practices.

Through its networks and their resulting research, HCEO plays a vital role in understanding and addressing opportunity inequality around the world.