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Parental Beliefs about Returns to Educational Investments: The Later the Better?

Author

Listed:
  • Teodora Boneva

    (University of Cambridge)

  • Christopher Rauh

    () (University of Cambridge, INET Institute)

Abstract

In this paper, we study parental beliefs about the technology which maps parental investments into future child outcomes. We document that parents perceive late investments as more productive than early investments, and that they perceive investments in different time periods as substitutes. These beliefs contrast with findings in the empirical literature which suggest that early investments are more productive and are complementary to late investments. We show that parental beliefs about the returns to investments vary substantially across the population and that individual beliefs are predictive of actual investment decisions. Moreover, we document that parental beliefs about the productivity of investments differ significantly across socio-economic groups. Perceived returns to parental investments are positively related to household income, thereby potentially contributing to intergenerational earnings persistence.

Suggested Citation

  • Teodora Boneva & Christopher Rauh, 2015. "Parental Beliefs about Returns to Educational Investments: The Later the Better?," Working Papers 2015-019, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  • Handle: RePEc:hka:wpaper:2015-019
    Note: ECI
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Lance Lochner, 2012. "Early and Late Human Capital Investments, Borrowing Constraints, and the Family," NBER Working Papers 18493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    4. David Deming, 2009. "Early Childhood Intervention and Life-Cycle Skill Development: Evidence from Head Start," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 111-134, July.
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    6. Attanasio, Orazio & Cattan, Sarah & Fitzsimons, Emla & Meghir, Costas & Rubio-Codina, Marta, 2015. "Estimating the Production Function for Human Capital: Results from a Randomized Control Trial in Colombia," IZA Discussion Papers 8856, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
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    10. Katja Maria Kaufmann, 2014. "Understanding the income gradient in college attendance in Mexico: The role of heterogeneity in expected returns," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 5(3), pages 583-630, November.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Adams, Abigail & Andrew, Alison, 2019. "Preferences and Beliefs in the Marriage Market for Young Brides," CEPR Discussion Papers 13567, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Philipp Lergetporer & Katharina Werner & Ludger Wößmann & Ludger Woessmann, 2018. "Does Ignorance of Economic Returns and Costs Explain the Educational Aspiration Gap? Evidence from Representative Survey Experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 7000, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Pamela Giustinelli & Nicola Pavoni, 2017. "The Evolution of Awareness and Belief Ambiguity in the Process of High School Track Choice," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 25, pages 93-120, April.
    4. Elisabeth Grewenig & Philipp Lergetporer & Katharina Werner & Ludger Wößmann & Ludger Woessmann, 2019. "Incentives, search engines, and the elicitation of subjective beliefs: evidence from representative online survey experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 7556, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Pamela Giustinelli & Nicola Pavoni, 2016. "The Evolution of Awareness and Belief Ambiguity During the Process of High School Track Choice," Working Papers 574, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    6. Orazio Attanasio & Costas Meghir & Emily Nix, 2015. "Human Capital Development and Parental Investment in India," Working Papers 1058, Economic Growth Center, Yale University, revised Jul 2017.
    7. Chris Belfield & Teodora Boneva & Christopher Rauh & Jonathan Shaw, 2016. "Money or fun? Why students want to pursue further education," IFS Working Papers W16/13, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    8. Camarero Garcia, Sebastian, 2018. "Inequality of educational opportunities and the role of learning intensity: Evidence from a quasi-experiment in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 18-021, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    9. Orazio Attanasio & Costas Meghir & Emily Nix, 2015. "Human Capital Development and Parental Investment in India," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 2026R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Jul 2017.
    10. Frauke H. Peter & C. Katharina Spieß & Vaishali Zambre, 2018. "Informing Students about College: An Efficient Way to Decrease the Socio-Economic Gap in Enrollment: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1770, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    11. Bahrs, Michael & Siedler, Thomas, 2018. "University Tuition Fees and High School Students' Educational Intentions," IZA Discussion Papers 12053, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Chih Ming Tan & Xiao Wang & Xiaobo Zhang, 2019. "It’s All in the Stars: The Chinese Zodiac and the Effects of Parental Investments on Offspring’s Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Development," Working Paper series 19-10, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    13. Werner, Katharina, 2018. "Obstacles to Efficient Allocations of Public Education Spending," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 128, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    14. Victoria Baranov & Sonia Bhalotra & Pietro Biroli & Joanna Maselko, 2018. "Maternal Depression, Women’s Empowerment, and Parental Investment: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial," Working Papers 2018-021, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    parental investments; skill accumulation; human capital; Inequality;

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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