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Parental Guidance and Supervised Learning

  • Alessandro Lizzeri

    (New York University)

  • Marciano Siniscalchi

    (Northwestern University)

We propose a simple theoretical model of supervised learning that is potentially useful to interpret a number of empirical phenomena relevant to the nature-nurture debate. The model captures a basic trade-off between sheltering the child from the consequences of his mistakes and allowing him to learn from experience. We characterize the optimal parenting policy and its comparative-statics properties. We then show that key features of the optimal policy can be useful to interpret provocative findings from behavioral genetics. (c) 2008 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology..

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 123 (2008)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 1161-1195

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:123:y:2008:i:3:p:1161-1195
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