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Children’s Schooling and Parents’ Investment in Children: Evidence from the Head Start Impact Study

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  • Alexander M. Gelber
  • Adam Isen

Abstract

Parents may have important effects on their children, but little work in economics explores whether children's schooling opportunities crowd out or encourage parents' investment in children. We analyze data from the Head Start Impact Study, which granted randomly-chosen preschool-aged children the opportunity to attend Head Start. We find that Head Start causes a substantial increase in parents' involvement with their children—such as time spent reading to children, math activities, or days spent with children by fathers who do not live with their children—both during and after the period when their children are potentially enrolled in Head Start. We discuss a variety of mechanisms that are consistent with our findings, including a simple model we present in which Head Start impacts parent involvement in part because parents perceive their involvement to be complementary with child schooling in the production of child qualities.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17704.

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Date of creation: Dec 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17704

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  1. David Deming, 2009. "Early Childhood Intervention and Life-Cycle Skill Development: Evidence from Head Start," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 111-34, July.
  2. Jishnu Das & Stefan Dercon & James Habyarimana & Pramila Krishnan & Karthik Muralidharan & Venkatesh Sundararaman, 2011. "School Inputs, Household Substitution, and Test Scores," NBER Working Papers 16830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. David S. Lee, 2009. "Training, Wages, and Sample Selection: Estimating Sharp Bounds on Treatment Effects," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 1071-1102.
  4. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Dorothea Blomeyer & Katja Coneus & Manfred Laucht & Friedhelm Pfeiffer, 2012. "Early Life Adversity and Children's Competence Development: Evidence from the Mannheim Study of Children at Risk," Working Papers 2012-020, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  2. Douglas Almond & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2013. "Fetal origins and parental responses," Working Paper Series WP-2012-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. Pfeiffer, Friedhelm & Blomeyer, Dorothea & Coneus, Katja & Laucht, Manfred, 2013. "Early life adversity and children's competence development: evidence from the Mannheim Study of Children at Risk," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79893, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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