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The role of parental investments for cognitive and noncognitive skill formation: Evidence for the first 11 years of life

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  • Coneus, Katja
  • Laucht, Manfred
  • Reuß, Karsten
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    Abstract

    This paper examines the impact of parental investments on the development of cognitive, mental and emotional skills during childhood using data from a longitudinal study, the Mannheim Study of Children at Risk, starting at birth. Our work offers three important innovations. First, we use reliable measures of the child's cognitive, mental and emotional skills as well as accurate measures of parental investment. Second, we estimate latent factor models to account for unobserved characteristics of children. Third, we examine the skill development for girls and boys separately, as well as for children who were born with either organic or psychosocial risk. We find a decreasing impact of parental investments on cognitive and mental skills, while emotional skills seem to be unaffected by parental investment throughout childhood. Thus, initial inequality persists during childhood. Since families are the main sources of education during the first years of life, our results have important implications for the quality of the parent-child relationship. --

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 10-028.

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    Date of creation: 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:10028

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    Keywords: cognitive skills; noncognitive skills; critical and sensitive periods; self-productivity; inequality; organic risk; psychosocial risk;

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    1. Pedro Carneiro & Claire Crawford & Alissa Goodman, 2007. "The Impact of Early Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills on Later Outcomes," CEE Discussion Papers 0092, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    2. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance & Masterov, Dimitriy V., 2005. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 1675, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Dorothea Blomeyer & Katja Coneus & Manfred Laucht & Friedhelm Pfeiffer, 2009. "Initial Risk Matrix, Home Resources, Ability Development, and Children's Achievement," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 638-648, 04-05.
    4. Flavio Cunha & James Heckman, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 12840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. James J. Heckman, 2008. "Schools, Skills, and Synapses," NBER Working Papers 14064, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J. & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2005. "From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 1864, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Husain, Muna & Millimet, Daniel L., 2009. "The mythical 'boy crisis'?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 38-48, February.
    8. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2008. "Formulating, Identifying and Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
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