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Do school inputs crowd out parents’ investments in their children?


  • Birgitta Rabe

    (University of Essex, UK, and IZA, Germany)


Many countries around the world are making substantial and increasing public investments in children by providing resources for schooling from early years through to adolescence. Recent research has looked at how parents respond to children’s schooling opportunities, highlighting that public inputs can alternatively encourage or crowd out parental inputs. Most evidence finds that parents reduce their own efforts as schooling improves, dampening the efficiency of government expenditure. Policymakers may thus want to focus government provision on schooling inputs that are less easily substituted.

Suggested Citation

  • Birgitta Rabe, 2019. "Do school inputs crowd out parents’ investments in their children?," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 460-460, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izawol:journl:2019:n:460

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jishnu Das & Stefan Dercon & James Habyarimana & Pramila Krishnan & Karthik Muralidharan & Venkatesh Sundararaman, 2013. "School Inputs, Household Substitution, and Test Scores," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 29-57, April.
    2. Liu, Haiyong & Mroz, Thomas A. & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2010. "Maternal employment, migration, and child development," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 212-228, May.
    3. Datar, Ashlesha & Mason, Bryce, 2008. "Do reductions in class size "crowd out" parental investment in education?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 712-723, December.
    4. Ellen Greaves & Iftikhar Hussain & Birgitta Rabe & Imran Rasul, 2023. "Parental Responses to Information about School Quality: Evidence from Linked Survey and Administrative Data," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 133(654), pages 2334-2402.
    5. Andrew J. Houtenville & Karen Smith Conway, 2008. "Parental Effort, School Resources, and Student Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(2), pages 437-453.
    6. Peter Fredriksson & Björn Öckert & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2016. "Parental Responses to Public Investments in Children: Evidence from a Maximum Class Size Rule," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(4), pages 832-868.
    7. Julie Berry Cullen & Brian A Jacob & Steven Levitt, 2006. "The Effect of School Choice on Participants: Evidence from Randomized Lotteries," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(5), pages 1191-1230, September.
    8. 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 3-33, February.
    9. Gelber, Alexander & Isen, Adam, 2013. "Children's schooling and parents' behavior: Evidence from the Head Start Impact Study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 25-38.
    10. Burgess, Simon, 2016. "Human Capital and Education: The State of the Art in the Economics of Education," IZA Discussion Papers 9885, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Cristian Pop-Eleches & Miguel Urquiola, 2013. "Going to a Better School: Effects and Behavioral Responses," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(4), pages 1289-1324, June.
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    2. Nicolai T. Borgen & Lars J. Kirkebøen & Andreas Kotsadam & Oddbjørn Raaum, 2022. "Do funds for more teachers improve student outcomes?," Discussion Papers 982, Statistics Norway, Research Department.

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    More about this item


    school inputs; parental investments; education production; input interactions;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality


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