Estimating the critical and sensitive periods of investment in early childhood: A methodological note
The identification of critical periods in early human development requires statistical analyses beyond simple cross tabulation of correlations of observed variables. This paper provides an overview of different quantitative methods available for the statistical analysis of longitudinal data regarding child development, and in particular the identification of critical and sensitive periods for later abilities. It draws heavily on the work on human skill formation developed by the economist James Heckman, which treats ability as a latent variable and explains its formation through the simultaneous estimation of structural equations of investments and achieved abilities across time. We distinguish between two specifications of the ability formation function. One of them (the ‘recursive’) format explains current ability as a function of the ability and investment at the immediately preceding period. The other (the ‘non-recursive’) format explains current ability as a function of a series of past investments. In order to fully examine critical and sensitive periods of investments, the non-recursive formulation needs to be used. Furthermore, true abilities of an individual cannot be directly observed: what we observe are the test scores, for example, on reading and writing. We outline an approach, structural equation modelling, that treats actual test scores as measurements of the latent ability variable, and show how it can be used in the recursive and non-recursive formulation. In order to fully examine critical and sensitive periods of investments, we argue that the non-recursive formulation of this structural model is necessary. However, the non-recursive formulation requires more data than the recursive formulation, and to the best of our knowledge, has never been used in the identification of critical and sensitive periods in early childhood development.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 97 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/315/description#description|
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/supportfaq.cws_home/regional|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2010.
"Investing in Our Young People,"
NBER Working Papers
16201, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Eric A. Hanushek, 2003.
"The Failure of Input-Based Schooling Policies,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F64-F98, February.
- Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2003. "On The Specification and Estimation of The Production Function for Cognitive Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F3-F33, February.
- Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Schennach, Susanne, 2010.
"Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation,"
IZA Discussion Papers
4702, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman & Susanne M. Schennach, 2010. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(3), pages 883-931, 05.
- Flavio Cunha & James Heckman & Susanne Schennach, 2010. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 15664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Flavio Cunha & James Heckman & Susanne Schennach, 2010. "Estimating the technology of cognitive and noncognitive skill formation," CeMMAP working papers CWP09/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Susanne Schennach & James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," 2007 Meeting Papers 973, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003.
"Human Capital Policy,"
NBER Working Papers
9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- PetraÂ E. Todd & KennethÂ I. Wolpin, 2007.
"The Production of Cognitive Achievement in Children: Home, School, and Racial Test Score Gaps,"
Journal of Human Capital,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 91-136.
- Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2004. "The Production of Cognitive Achievement in Children: Home, School and Racial Test Score Gaps," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-019, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
- Portrait, France & Teeuwiszen, Erica & Deeg, Dorly, 2011. "Early life undernutrition and chronic diseases at older ages: The effects of the Dutch famine on cardiovascular diseases and diabetes," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(5), pages 711-718, September.
- Eric A. Hanushek, 1998. "Conclusions and controversies about the effectiveness of school resources," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Mar, pages 11-27.
- Eric Knudsen & James J. Heckman & Judy Cameron & Jack P. Shonkoff, 2006. "Economic, Neurobiological and Behavioral Perspectives on Building Americaâ€™s Future Workforce," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 7(3), pages 17-41, July.
- Gabriella Conti & James Heckman & Sergio Urzua, 2010. "The Education-Health Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 234-38, May.
- Elwell-Sutton, Timothy M. & Jiang, Chao Qiang & Zhang, Wei Sen & Cheng, Kar Keung & Lam, Tai Hing & Leung, Gabriel M. & Schooling, C.M., 2011. "Socioeconomic influences at different life stages on health in Guangzhou, China," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(11), pages 1884-1892, June.
- Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 1993.
"Does Head Start Make a Difference?,"
NBER Working Papers
4406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Knudsen, Eric I. & Heckman, James J. & Cameron, Judy L. & Shonkoff, Jack P., 2006.
"Economic, Neurobiological and Behavioral Perspectives on Building America's Future Workforce,"
IZA Discussion Papers
2190, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Eric I. Knudsen & James J. Heckman & Judy L. Cameron & Jack P. Shonkoff, 2006. "Economic, Neurobiological and Behavioral Perspectives on Building America's Future Workforce," NBER Working Papers 12298, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Sanchez, Brisa N. & Budtz-Jorgensen, Esben & Ryan, Louise M. & Hu, Howard, 2005. "Structural Equation Models: A Review With Applications to Environmental Epidemiology," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 100, pages 1443-1455, December.
- 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).
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:97:y:2013:i:c:p:316-324. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.