Human Capital Index – What is it, and why should we care about it?

11  May 2021    2:00 pm CEST

Open lecture

In cooperation with:


online event


Measuring the human capital that a child born today can expect to attain by her 18th birthday, the Human Capital Index (HCI) highlights how current health and education outcomes shape the productivity of the next generation of workers. In this way, it underscores the importance for governments and societies of investing in the human capital of their citizens. This lecture will introduce the HCI, will elaborate why should economists and public officials care about it, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected it.

The panel

Opening Remarks

Hervé Joly, Director of Joint Vienna Institute (JVI)


Mr. Paul Andres Corral Rodas is currently leading the Human Capital Index work as Acting Chief Economist for Human Development at The World Bank. He previously worked as a data scientist with the Poverty and Equity Global Practice, where he focused on small area estimation methods and applications. He has published peer-reviewed articles on agriculture and development for specific African countries and is the author of multiple Stata commands. He holds a PhD in economics from American University and an MSc degree in agricultural economics from the University of Hohenheim. (LinkedIn, Twitter)

Ms. Ritika D’Souza is a Research Analyst at the Chief Economist for Human Development Office. She works on the Human Capital Index (HCI) and related analytics, including methodologies for the socioeconomic and spatial disaggregation of the HCI. Previously, she worked in the South Asia Chief Economist’s Office, where her research covered the areas of nutrition, education, gender, and jobs. She has also managed the field implementation of impact evaluations of agriculture, food security, and nutrition projects in Nepal and Rwanda with the World Bank’s Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) group. She holds a master’s degree in public administration from the School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University. (LinkedIn)


Mr. Mario Holzner is Executive Director at wiiw. He is also coordinating economic policy development and communication with a focus on European economic policy. He has recently worked on issues of infrastructure investment in greater Europe, proposing a European Silk Road. Mario Holzner is also a lecturer in applied econometrics at the University of Vienna, Department of Economics. He obtained his PhD in economics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business in 2005. (wiiw website)


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The webinar will be held in English. Participants are encouraged to ask written questions to the presenters using the webinar’s chat forum.