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Does Mother Know Best? Parental Discrepancies in Assessing Child Functioning


  • Nabanita Datta Gupta

    () (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark)

  • Mette Lausten

    (SFI, Copenhagen, Denmark)

  • Dario Pozzoli

    (Department of Economics and Business, Aarhus University, Denmark)


We investigate the degree of correspondence between parents’ reports on child behavioral and educational outcomes using the most recent available wave of a rich Danish longitudinal survey of children (the DALSC). All outcomes are measured at age 11 when the children are expected to be in fifth grade. Once discrepancies are detected, we analyze whether they are driven by noisy evaluations or by systematic bias, focusing on the role of parental characteristics and response heterogeneity. We then explicitly assess the relative importance of the mother’s versus the father’s assessments in explaining child academic performance and diagnosed mental health to investigate whether one parent is systematically a better informant of their child’s outcomes than the other.

Suggested Citation

  • Nabanita Datta Gupta & Mette Lausten & Dario Pozzoli, 2012. "Does Mother Know Best? Parental Discrepancies in Assessing Child Functioning," Economics Working Papers 2012-24, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
  • Handle: RePEc:aah:aarhec:2012-24

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    Cited by:

    1. Kristoffersen, Jannie H. G. & Smith, Nina, 2013. "Gender Differences in the Effects of Behavioral Problems on School Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 7410, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Kristoffersen, Jannie H.G. & Obel, Carsten & Smith, Nina, 2015. "Gender differences in behavioral problems and school outcomes," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 75-93.

    More about this item


    Child development; informant discrepancies; reporting bias;

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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