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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
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    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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    File URL: http://econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/32784/1/625719212.pdf
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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. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance, 2006. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    2. Laucht, Manfred & Coneus, Katja & Blomeyer, Dorothea & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 2008. "Initial Risk Matrix, Home Resources, Ability Development and Children's Achievement," ZEW Discussion Papers 08-100, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    3. 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).
    4. Flavio Cunha & James Heckman, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 12840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. James J. Heckman, 2008. "Schools, Skills, and Synapses," Working Papers 200833, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    6. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2006. "From the cradle to the labor market? The effect of birth weight on adult outcomes," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19425, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Husain, Muna & Millimet, Daniel L., 2009. "The mythical 'boy crisis'?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 38-48, February.
    8. 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.
    9. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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