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The Economics of Child Well-Being


  • Gabriella Conti
  • James J. Heckman


This paper presents an integrated economic approach that organizes and interprets the evidence on child development. It also discusses the indicators of child well-being that are used in international comparisons. Recent evidence on child development is summarized, and policies to promote child well-being are discussed. The paper concludes with some open questions and suggestions for future research.

Suggested Citation

  • Gabriella Conti & James J. Heckman, 2012. "The Economics of Child Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 18466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18466
    Note: CH PE

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    9. 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).
    10. Cole, Steven W. & Conti, Gabriella & Arevalo, Jesusa M. & Ruggiero, Angela M. & Heckman, James J. & Suomi, Stephen J., 2012. "Transcriptional Modulation of the Developing Immune System by Early Life Social Adversity," IZA Discussion Papers 6915, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    12. Robert Kaestner & Kevin Callison, 2011. "Adolescent Cognitive and Noncognitive Correlates of Adult Health," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(1), pages 29-69.
    13. Arleen Leibowitz, 1974. "Home Investments in Children," NBER Chapters,in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 432-456 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    28. Gabriella Conti & James J. Heckman & Sergio Urzua, 2010. "Early endowments, education, and health," Working Papers 2011-001, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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    Cited by:

    1. Gabriella Conti & James J. Heckman & Rodrigo Pinto, 2015. "The Effects of Two Influential Early Childhood Interventions on Health and Healthy Behaviors," Working Papers 2015-011, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    2. Arnaud Chevalier & Olivier Marie, 2017. "Economic Uncertainty, Parental Selection, and Children’s Educational Outcomes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(2), pages 393-430.
    3. Dürdane Şirin Saracoğlu & Deniz Karaoğlan, 2016. "Early Childhood Development and Human Capital Formation: The Case of Turkey in Global Perspective," ERC Working Papers 1605, ERC - Economic Research Center, Middle East Technical University, revised May 2016.
    4. Sonya Krutikova & Helene Bie Lilleør, 2015. "Fetal Origins of Personality: Effects of early life circumstances on adult personality traits," CSAE Working Paper Series 2015-03, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    5. repec:spr:soinre:v:134:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1456-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Gabriella Conti & James J. Heckman, 2012. "The Developmental Approach to Child and Adult Health," NBER Working Papers 18664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. repec:spr:soinre:v:132:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1334-1 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Grossman, Michael & Tekin, Erdal & Wada, Roy, 2014. "Food prices and body fatness among youths," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 12(C), pages 4-19.
    9. Martha H. Stinson & Peter Gottschalk, 2015. "Is there an Advantage to Working? The Relationship between Maternal Employment and Intergenerational Mobility," Working Papers 15-27, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    10. Julia S. Goldberg & Marcia J. Carlson, 2012. "Getting Inside the Family: How Parents' Relationship Quality Is Linked to Children's Behavior in Married and Cohabiting Families," Working Papers 1428, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
    11. Julia Alamillo, "undated". "Family Structure and Reproduction of Inequality: A Decomposition Approach," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 848d4b9e0bd14c8191ed1277b, Mathematica Policy Research.
    12. repec:pri:crcwel:wp12-18-ff is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Popova, Daria, 2014. "Distributional impacts of cash allowances for children: a microsimulation analysis for Russia and Europe," EUROMOD Working Papers EM2/14, EUROMOD at the Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    14. repec:pri:crcwel:wp13-08-ff is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Armando Barrientos & Jasmina Byrne & Juan Miguel Villa & Paola Peña, 2013. "Social Transfers and Child Protection," Papers inwopa691, Innocenti Working Papers.
    16. Brinkman,Sally Anne & Hasan,Amer & Jung,Haeil & Kinnell,Angela & Pradhan,Menno Prasad, 2015. "The impact of expanding access to early childhood services in rural Indonesia : evidence from two cohorts of children," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7372, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D04 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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