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The formation and evolution of childhood skill acquisition: Evidence from India

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  • Helmers, Christian
  • Patnam, Manasa

Abstract

Building on recent advances in the literature and using a rich data set for two cohorts of children aged between one and twelve for Andhra Pradesh, India, we investigate the determinants of children's cognitive as well as non-cognitive skills. We find evidence of self-productivity for cognitive skills and cross-productivity effects from cognitive on non-cognitive skills. Moreover, we demonstrate that parental investment has contemporaneously positive effects on skill levels for all age groups. Investigating other determinants of these skills, we find child health at age one to influence cognitive abilities at age five, whilst child health at age one is influenced by parental care already during pregnancy and earliest childhood. Understanding the determinants which account explicitly for the effect of a large number of child, caregiver and household characteristics provides insights with regard to possible policy interventions to improve the chances of children in poor environments of developing cognitive and non-cognitive skills crucial for success in many spheres of life.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 95 (2011)
Issue (Month): 2 (July)
Pages: 252-266

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Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:95:y:2011:i:2:p:252-266

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/devec

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Keywords: Children Cognitive skills Non-cognitive skills;

References

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  1. Susanne Schennach & James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," 2007 Meeting Papers 973, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Pablo Lavado & Luciana Velarde & Gustavo Yamada, 2013. "Habilidades No Cognitivas y Brecha de Género Salarial en el Perú," Working Papers 13-16, Departamento de Economía, Universidad del Pacífico, revised Dec 2013.
  2. Christian Helmers & Manasa Patnam, 2010. "Does the Rotten Child Spoil His Companion? Spatial Peer Effects Among Children in Rural India," Economics Series Working Papers CSAE WPS/2010-13, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Agenor, Pierre-Richard & Canuto, Otaviano & da Silva, Luiz Pereira, 2010. "On gender and growth : the role of intergenerational health externalities and women's occupational constraints," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5492, The World Bank.
  4. Alderman, Harold & Das, Jishnu & Rao, Vijayendra, 2013. "Conducting ethical economic research: complications from the field," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6446, The World Bank.
  5. Alan Sánchez, 2013. "The Structural Relationship between Nutrition, Cognitive and Non-cognitive Skills Evidence from four developing countries (Documento de trabajo 111 – La relación estructural entre nutrición, habil," Documentos de Trabajo (Niños del Milenio-GRADE) ninosm111, Niños del Milenio (Young Lives).
  6. Dercon, Stefan & Sánchez, Alan, 2013. "Height in mid childhood and psychosocial competencies in late childhood: Evidence from four developing countries," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 426-432.
  7. Pawlowski, Tim & Schüttoff, Ute & Downward, Paul & Lechner, Michael, 2014. "Children’s skill formation in less developed countries – The impact of sports participation," Economics Working Paper Series 1412, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  8. Florencia Lopez Boo & Maria E. Canon, 2012. "Richer but more unequal? nutrition and caste gaps," Working Papers 2012-051, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  9. Dendir, Seife, 2013. "Children.s endowment, schooling, and work in Ethiopia," Working Paper Series UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  10. Harold Alderman, 2011. "No Small Matter : The Impact of Poverty, Shocks, and Human Capital Investments in Early Childhood Development," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2266, February.
  11. Dercon, Stefan & Singh, Abhijeet, 2013. "From Nutrition to Aspirations and Self-Efficacy: Gender Bias over Time among Children in Four Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 31-50.

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