Increased exposure to gender-role information affects a girl's educational performance. Utilizing the classroom randomization in Chinese middle schools, we find that the increased presence of stay-at-home peer mothers significantly reduces a girl's performance in mathematics.
Intergenerational persistence in studying for elite education is high across the world. We study the role that exposure to high school peers from elite educated families (`elite peers') plays in driving such a phenomenon in Norway.
Extensive research has shown comprehensive early interventions can improve the developmental outcomes of disadvantaged children.
We study how children’s socio-emotional skills and well-being in adolescence are affected by an increase in the duration of parental care during infancy.
We estimate doctor value-added and provide evidence on the distribution of physician quality in an entire country, combining rich population-wide register data with random assignment of patients to general practitioners (GPs).
Adverse conditions in early life can have consequential impacts on individuals' health in older age. In one of the first papers on this topic, Barker and Osmond (1986) show a strong positive relationship between infant mortality rates in the 1920s and ischaemic heart disease in the 1970s.
The UK Universal Credit (UC) welfare reform simplified the benefits system whilst strongly incentivising a return to sustainable employment. Exploiting a staggered roll-out, we estimate the differential effect of entering unemployment under UC versus the former system on mental health.
Economists and social scientists have debated the relative importance of nature (one's genes) and nurture (one's environment) for decades, if not centuries. This debate can now be informed by the ready availability of genetic data in a growing number of social science datasets.
Parents with a special social status generate spillover to children of others. This paper studies the effect of socially influential peer parents on students.
Early Childhood Interventions (ECI) offering disadvantaged children preschool and family support services in the US show long-lasting health impacts. Can these benefits hold when these programs are offered to all children in contexts with universal healthcare?
We present evidence on the role of the social environment for the development of gender differences in competitiveness and earnings expectations.
Cognitive abilities are fundamental for decision-making, and understanding the causes of human capital depreciation in old age is especially important in an aging society.
This paper provides new evidence that preventive health care services delivered at schools and provided at a relatively low cost have positive and lasting impacts.
States increasingly require prospective teachers to pass exams for program completion and initial licensure, including the recent controversial roll-out of the educative Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA).
This paper demonstrates multiple beneficial impacts of a program promoting intergenerational mobility for disadvantaged African-American children and their children.
This paper monetizes the life-cycle intragenerational and intergenerational benefits of the Perry Preschool Project, a pioneering high-quality early childhood education program implemented before Head Start that targeted disadvantaged African-Americans and was evaluated by a randomized trial.
Child height is a significant predictor of human capital and economic status throughout adulthood. Moreover, non-unitary household models of family behavior posit that an increase in women’s bargaining power can influence child health.
Recent estimates are that about 150 million children under five years of age are stunted, with substantial negative consequences for their schooling, cognitive skills, health, and economic productivity.
We study the role of non-cognitive skills (NCS) in university readiness and performance of first-in-family students (FIFS) using both nationally representative survey data and linked survey-administrative data on an incoming student cohort at a leading Australian university.
This paper provides new insights on the science of scaling.
Many American policy analysts point to Denmark as a model welfare state with low levels of income inequality and high levels of income mobility across generations. It has in place many social policies now advocated for adoption in the U.S.
What are the effects of school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s education? Online education is an imperfect substitute for in-person learning, particularly for children from low-income families.
Although many students suffer from anxiety and depression, and students often identify school pressure and concerns about their futures as the main reasons for their worries, little is known about the consequences of a selective school environment on students' physical and mental health.
This paper explores students' expectations about the returns to completing higher education and provides first evidence on perceived signaling and human capital effects.
The lockdown imposed following the COVID-19 pandemic of spring 2020 dramatically changed the daily lives and routines of millions of people worldwide.
This paper evaluates the causal impacts of an early childhood home visiting program for which treatment is randomly assigned. We estimate multivariate latent skill profiles for individual children and compare treatments and controls.
Inequality of opportunity strikes when two children with the same academic performance are sent to different quality schools because their parents differ in socio-economic status.
We utilize random assignment of students into classrooms in China middle schools to study the mechanisms behind the spillover of peer parental education on student achievement.
Although many educational programs have demonstrated the potential to increase student learning, few examples of successful scaling exist. We study the scalability of a parent-aimed reading program that has shown promising results in an experiment within a local government.
We derive sharp bounds on the non consumption utility component in an extended Roy model of sector selection. We interpret this non consumption utility component as a compensating wage differential.
The coronavirus outbreak has caused significant disruptions to people’s lives. We document the impact of state-wide stay-at-home orders on mental health using real time survey data in the US. The lockdown measures lowered mental health by 0.085 standard deviations.
Educational attainment (EA) is influenced by characteristics other than cognitive ability, but little is known about the genetic architecture of these “non-cognitive” contributions to EA.
Numerous studies have considered the important role of cognition in estimating the returns to schooling. How cognitive abilities affect schooling may have important policy implications, especially in developing countries during periods of increasing educational attainment.
Precipitated by rapid globalization, rising inequality, population growth, and longevity gains, social protection programs have been on the rise in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the last three decades.
Increasing mothers' labour supply in a child's preschool years can cause a reduction in time investments that lead to a negative direct effect on mid-childhood and teenage outcomes. But as mothers' work hours increase, income will rise.
This paper introduces the Big Five personality traits along with other covariates in a job search, matching and bargaining model and investigates how education and personality traits affect job search behavior and labor market outcomes.
Modern women often face an uneasy choice: dedicating their time to reproductive household work, or joining the workforce and spending time away from home and household duties.
We assess the causal effect of the National Kidney Registry (NKR), the largest national kidney-exchange network in the U.S., on kidney-exchange outcomes.
This paper evaluates the short-term impact of an early childhood curriculum intervention on child development. Teachers in rural childcare centers in northeastern Thailand were encouraged to employ the new curriculum, which is based primarily on the HighScope approach.
This study examines the effects of a home visiting program for first-time disadvantaged mothers on mother-child interactions.
By the time children start school, socio-economic gaps are evident in child skills. We document a causal effect of a reform to mothers' education on her child's skills and use mediation analysis to explore the role of parental inputs as mechanisms.
We find substantial and statistically significant detrimental effects of fathers' multiple-partner fertility (MPF) on children's educational outcomes.
While many studies have shown that parental skills are important for child outcomes, whether this derives from non-genetic mechanisms is less clear.
Aging populations in developing countries have spurred the introduction of public pension programs to preserve the standard of living for the elderly.
Improving productivity among microenterprises is important, especially in low-income countries where market imperfections are pervasive, and resources are scarce. Relaxing credit constraints can increase the productivity of microenterprises.
Prior research has shown that time spent in school does not close the achievement gap between students with low and high socioeconomic status (SES).
We identify the causal effect of mothers' mental health during early - and soon after pregnancy on a range of child psychological, socio-emotional and cognitive outcomes measured between ages 4-16.
Postgraduate-degree holders comprise a significant share of the workforce and have better labor-market outcomes than workers who only hold a first degree.
We develop a unied empirical framework for child development which nests the key features of two previously parallel research programs, the Child Development literature and the Education Production Function literature.
Informed by the psychological literature and our empirical evidence we provide new insights into the technology of socio-emotional skill formation in middle childhood.
This paper presents the first analysis of the life course outcomes through late midlife (around age 55) for the participants of the iconic Perry Preschool Project, an experimental high-quality preschool program for disadvantaged African-American children in the 1960s.
This paper examines the impact of the iconic Perry Preschool Project on the children and siblings of the original participants.
Inequalities in the opportunity to obtain a good education in low-income countries are widely understood to be related to household resources and schooling quality. Yet, to date, most researchers have investigated the contributions of these two factors separately.
Understanding inequality and devising policies to alleviate it was a central focus of Jan Tinbergen's lifetime research. He was far ahead of his time in many aspects of his work.
We evaluate the impact of a conditional cash transfer (CCT) program that we designed on family well-being among low-income families with young children.
We analyze the empirical content of the Roy model, stripped down to its essential features, namely sector specific unobserved heterogeneity and self-selection on the basis of potential outcomes.
This paper evaluates the effects of the implementation of a structured early stimulation curriculum combined with a nutritional intervention through public large-scale parenting support services for vulnerable families in rural Colombia, known as FAMI, using a clustered randomized controlled tria
We examine changes in inequality in socio-emotional skills very early in life in two British cohorts born 30 years apart. We construct socio-emotional scales comparable across cohorts for both boys and girls, using two validated instruments for the measurement of child behaviour.
This paper examines the relationship between placement of publications in Top Five (T5) journals and receipt of tenure in academic economics departments. Analyzing the job histories of tenure-track economists hired by the top 35 U.S.
This paper studies the impact of schooling intensity on students’ noncognitive skills. It exploits a major school reform that reduced total years in high school but retained the high school curriculum, thereby increasing weekly school hours.
We investigate the impact of childcare provision on cases of child abuse and neglect in Germany between 2002 and 2014. For identification, we exploit a governmental reform introducing mandatory early child care.
We develop and test an economic model of the cognitive and non-cognitive foundations of survey item- response behavior.
Internal locus of control (LOC) is a highly beneficial non-cognitive skill, yet its long-term formation process remains poorly understood.
Over the past two decades, researchers have shown a growing interest in the role of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) – children’s confrontation with maltreatment and household dysfunction – in shaping lifetime opportunities.
In this paper, we study parental beliefs about the returns to different types of investments in school children.
Using data from OECD’s PISA, Eurostat and World Bank’s WDI, we explore how child cognitive outcomes at the aggregate country level are related to macroeconomic conditions, specifically government education expenditures and early education experience.
This paper analyzes the relationship between work-promoting income transfer policies and child development. We provide new comprehensive evidence of the unintended consequences for child development of the Earned Income Tax Credit expansions during the 1990s in the United States.
Internally displaced people (IDPs) constitute a serious economic, social and cultural problem for many countries, including countries in transition. Despite the importance of the problem, there are only a handful of previous studies investigating the issue of labor market outcomes of IDPs.
Childhood obesity has adverse health and productivity consequences and poses negative externalities to health services. Its increase in recent decades can be traced back to unhealthy habits acquired in the household.
We study how parental resources early in life affect children’s health and education exploiting the so-called speed premium (SP) in the Swedish parental leave system.
That prenatal events can have life-long consequences is now well established. Nevertheless, research on the Fetal Origins Hypothesis is flourishing and has expanded to include the early childhood (postnatal) environment.
To understand the socio-economic enrollment gap in university attendance, we elicit students' beliefs about the benefits of university education in a sample of 2,540 secondary school students.
This paper presents the results of a randomized study of a home visiting program implemented in Germany for low-income, first-time mothers. A major goal of the program is to improve the participants’ economic self-sufficiency and family planning.
This paper analyzes the non-market benefits of education and ability. Using a dynamic model of educational choice we estimate returns to education that account for selection bias and sorting on gains.
This paper shows how women’s relatively higher career cost can explain why in most of the developed countries women go to college at a higher rate than men and earn less on average.
Lack of skills is arguably one of the most important determinants for high levels of unemployment and poverty. Targeting youth unemployment and also important because of its strong influence on other important social outcomes.
Using a randomized experiment, this study investigates the impact of sustained investment in parenting, from pregnancy until age five, in the context of extensive welfare provision.
Among men, the black-white wage gap is as large today as it was in 1950. We test whether the black-white wage gap is due to asymmetric information using newly collected data on occupational licensing laws that ban workers with criminal records. We find evidence supporting this hypothesis.
We evaluate the effects of home visiting targeted towards disadvantaged first-time mothers on maternal and child health outcomes. Our analysis exploits a randomized controlled trial and combines rich longitudinal survey data with unique administrative health data.
A model of how personality traits affect household time and resource allocation decisions and wages is developed and estimated. In the model, households choose between two modes of behavior: cooperative or noncooperative.
Low Female Labor Force Participation (FLFP) constitutes a foregone opportunity at both the macro and at the micro levels, potentially increasing the vulnerability of households and lowering the long-run development perspectives of a country.
We test whether adverse childhood experiences – exposure to parental maltreatment and its indirect effect on health – are associated with age 30 personality traits.
The last 60 years have seen the emergence of a dramatic socioeconomic gradient in marriage, divorce, cohabitation, and childbearing.
We study the impact of health shocks on domestic violence and illicit drug use. We argue that health is a form of human capital that shifts incentives for risky behaviors, such as drug use, and also changes options outside of violent relationships.
This paper proposes an elementary empirical framework to study behavioral marriage matching models, the Cobb Douglas marriage matching function (CD MMF). It accommodates different kinds of relationships, peer and scale effects, changes in population supplies and gains to relationships.
In this empirical analysis, we estimate the link between formal childcare and child cognitive outcomes, controlling for a large number of variables.
This study provides insights on the role of early childhood family environment within the process of preference formation. We start by presenting evidence showing that breastfeeding duration is a valid measure of the quality of early childhood environment.
This paper quantifies and aggregates the multiple lifetime benefits of an influential high-quality early childhood program with outcomes measured through midlife.
Many poor households in developing countries are liquidity-constrained. As a result, they may under-invest in the human capital of their children. We provide new evidence on the long-term (10-year) effects of cash transfers using data from Ecuador.
Parental investments in early childhood have been shown to have a large impact on skill acquisition. In this paper, we examine how beliefs about a child's relative skill influences investment and how these beliefs are determined.
Intelligence quotient (IQ), grades, and scores on achievement tests are widely used as measures of cognition, yet the correlations among them are far from perfect. This paper uses a variety of data sets to show that personality and IQ predict grades and scores on achievement tests.
This paper discusses the relevance of recent research on the economics of human development to the work of the Human Development and Capability Association. The recent economics of human development brings insights about the dynamics of skill accumulation to the literature on capabilities.
This paper examines the sources of differences in social mobility between the U.S. and Denmark. Measured by income mobility, Denmark is a more mobile society, but not when measured by educational mobility. There are pronounced nonlinearities in income and educational mobility in both countries.
This paper estimates returns to education using a dynamic model of educational choice that synthesizes approaches in the structural dynamic discrete choice literature with approaches used in the reduced form treatment effect literature.
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.
This paper organizes and synthesizes the literature on early childhood education and childcare. In it, we go beyond meta-analysis and reanalyze primary data sources in a common framework.
This article investigates the impact of an early intervention program, which experimentally modifies the parenting and home environment of disadvantaged families, on child physical health in the first 3 years of life.
This study estimates the effect of a targeted policy intervention on global and experienced measures of maternal well-being. Participants from a disadvantaged community are randomly assigned during pregnancy to an intensive home visiting parenting program or a control group.
This paper examines the long-term impacts on health and healthy behaviors of two of the oldest and most widely cited U.S. early childhood interventions evaluated by the method of randomization with long-term follow-up: the Perry Preschool Project (PPP) and the Carolina Abecedarian Project (ABC).
An open question in the literature is whether families compensate or reinforce the impact of child health shocks. Discussions usually focus on one dimension of child investment. This paper examines multiple dimensions using household survey data on Chinese child twins whose average age is 11.
This paper develops and applies a Bayesian approach to Exploratory Factor Analysis that improves on ad hoc classical approaches.
This paper provides new estimates of the medium and long-term impacts of Head Start on health and behavioral problems. We identify these impacts using discontinuities in the probability of participation induced by program eligibility rules.
This paper develops and estimates a model with multiple schooling choices that identifies the causal effect of different levels of schooling on health, health-related behaviors, and labor market outcomes.
This paper distills and extends recent research on the economics of human development and social mobility.
This paper reviews the recent literature on measuring and boosting cognitive and noncognitive skills.
We study empirically whether there is scope for parents to shape the economic preferences and attitudes of their children through purposeful investments.
Female labor supply can insure households against shocks to paternal employment. The paper estimates whether the female labor supply response to a paternal employment shock differs by eligibility to maternity employment protection.
Conventional methods for mediation analysis generate biased results when the mediator-outcome relationship depends on the treatment condition.
Haavelmo's seminal 1943 paper is the first rigorous treatment of causality. In it, he distinguished the definition of causal parameters from their identification.
The literature on skill formation and human capital development clearly demonstrates that early investment in children is an equitable and efficient policy with large returns in adulthood. Yet little is known about the mechanisms involved in producing these long-term effects.
This paper presents an econometric mediation analysis. It considers identification of production functions and the sources of output effects (treatment effects) from experimental interventions when some inputs are mismeasured and others are entirely omitted.
In this paper we utilize a model of household investments in the cognitive development of children to explore the impact of various transfer policies on the distribution of child cognitive outcomes in target populations.
This paper investigates the role of early life adversity and home resources in terms of competence formation and school achievement based on data from an epidemiological cohort study following 364 children from birth to adolescence.
This paper exploits a unique ongoing experiment to analyze the effects of early rearing conditions on physical and mental health in a sample of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta).
While a large literature has focused on the impact of parental investments on child cognitive development, very little is known about the children's own investments.
Schools that enroll disproportionately high percentages of pupils from low-income families are widely believed to have negative consequences for student performance.
Variance in academic performance that persists when situational variables are held constant suggests that whether students fail or thrive depends not only on circumstance, but also on relatively stable individual differences in how children respond to circumstance.
The Abecedarian Approach is a suite of teaching and learning strategies that were developed for the Abecedarian Studies (the Abecedarian Project, CARE, and IHDP), three longitudinal investigations to test the power of high quality early childhood services to improve the later academic achievement
To design studies that fill gaps in existing knowledge and build on innovations in research and practice, international early childhood researchers studying interventions and policies targeting early childhood development (ECD) need to sort quickly through the existing evidence.
This concept paper proposes a four-stage approach to in-country/region ECD program development, selection, and inquiry designed to build the evidence base required to guide program and policy decisions. The foundation of the approach is a strengths-based continuous program improvement framework.
The growth in labor market participation among women with young children has raised concerns about the potential negative impact of the mother's absence from home on child outcomes.
This paper investigates the effects of public childcare availability in Italy on mothers' working status and children's scholastic achievements.
The classical version of early development by psychoanalysis has been largely challenged by developmental psychology, and particularly by attachment theory.
This study examines cognitive and non-cognitive skills and their transmission from parents to children as one potential candidate to explain the intergenerational link of socio-economic status.
In a predominantly low-income population-based longitudinal sample of 1,292 children followed from birth, higher level of salivary cortisol assessed at ages 7, 15, and 24 months was uniquely associated with lower executive function ability and to a lesser extent IQ at age 3 years.
Parental beliefs, recognised by child psychologists as a causal influence on early development, are incorporated into a two-period model of human capital accumulation.
Using a sequential model of educational choices, we investigate the effect of educational choices on labor market, health, and social outcomes. Unobserved endowments drive the correlations in unobservables across choice and outcome equations.
Cash transfer programs have become extremely popular in the developing world. There is a large literature on the effects of these programs on schooling, health and nutrition, but relatively little is known about possible impacts on child development.
This paper examines the early origins of observed health disparities by education. We determine the role played by cognitive, noncognitive and early health endowments, and we identify the causal effect of education on health and health-related behaviors.