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The role of parental investments for cognitive and noncognitive skill formation: Evidence for the first 11 years of life

  • Coneus, Katja
  • Laucht, Manfred
  • Reuß, Karsten

This paper examines the impact of parental investments on the development of cognitive, mental and emotional skills during childhood using data from a longitudinal study, the Mannheim Study of Children at Risk, starting at birth. Our work offers three important innovations. First, we use reliable measures of the child's cognitive, mental and emotional skills as well as accurate measures of parental investment. Second, we estimate latent factor models to account for unobserved characteristics of children. Third, we examine the skill development for girls and boys separately, as well as for children who were born with either organic or psychosocial risk. We find a decreasing impact of parental investments on cognitive and mental skills, while emotional skills seem to be unaffected by parental investment throughout childhood. Thus, initial inequality persists during childhood. Since families are the main sources of education during the first years of life, our results have important implications for the quality of the parent-child relationship.

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Paper provided by ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research in its series ZEW Discussion Papers with number 10-028.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:10028
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  1. Husain, Muna & Millimet, Daniel L., 2009. "The mythical 'boy crisis'?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 38-48, February.
  2. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro & Flavio Cunha, 2004. "The Technology of Skill Formation," 2004 Meeting Papers 681, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2009. "The Economics and Psychology of Inequality and Human Development," NBER Working Papers 14695, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Blomeyer, Dorothea & Coneus, Katja & Laucht, Manfred & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 2008. "Initial Risk Matrix, Home Resources, Ability Development and Children's Achievement," IZA Discussion Papers 3692, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance John & Masterov, Dimitriy V., 2005. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 1675, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2009. "The Economics & Psychology of Inequality and Human Development," Working Papers 200905, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  7. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Human Capital Policy," NBER Working Papers 9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Sandra E. Black & Paul Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2007. "From the Cradle to the Labor Market? The Effect of Birth Weight on Adult Outcomes," Working Papers 200718, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  9. Douglas Almond & Lena Edlund & Mårten Palme, 2007. "Chernobyl's Subclinical Legacy: Prenatal Exposure to Radioactive Fallout and School Outcomes in Sweden," NBER Working Papers 13347, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. James J. Heckman, 2008. "Schools, Skills, and Synapses," Working Papers 200833, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  11. Phil Oreopoulos & Mark Stabile & Randy Walld & Leslie Roos, 2006. "Short, Medium, and Long Term Consequences of Poor Infant Health: An Analysis using Siblings and Twins," NBER Working Papers 11998, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Blomeyer, Dorothea & Coneus, Katja & Laucht, Manfred & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 2008. "Self-Productivity and Complementarities in Human Development: Evidence from the Mannheim Study of Children at Risk," IZA Discussion Papers 3734, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Susanne Schennach & James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," 2007 Meeting Papers 973, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. 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).
  15. Doyle, Orla & Harmon, Colm P. & Heckman, James J. & Tremblay, Richard E., 2009. "Investing in early human development: Timing and economic efficiency," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 1-6, March.
  16. Paul J. Devereux & Sandra E. Black & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2007. "From the cradle to the labor market? The effect of birth weight on adult outcomes," Working Papers 10197/317, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  17. Pedro Carneiro & Claire Crawford & Alissa Goodman, 2007. "The Impact of Early Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills on Later Outcomes," CEE Discussion Papers 0092, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
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