Matthias Doepke, Giuseppe Sorrenti, Fabrizio Zilibotti

Parenting decisions are among the most consequential choices people make throughout their lives. Starting with the work of pioneers such as Gary Becker, economists have used the toolset of their discipline to understand what parents do and how parents’ actions affect their children. In recent years, the literature on parenting within economics has increasingly leveraged findings and concepts from related disciplines that also deal with parent-child interactions. For example, economists have developed models to understand the choice between various parenting styles that were first explored in the developmental psychology literature, and have estimated detailed empirical models of children’s accumulation of cognitive and noncognitive skills in response to parental and other inputs. In this paper, we survey the economic literature on parenting and point out promising directions for future research.

JEL Codes  
J13: Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
J24: Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
R20: Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics: Household Analysis: General
parenting style
skill acquisition
peer effects