Lindsey Macmillan, Emma Tominey

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. The reform shifted mothers' education from no, to a low level of qualifications. Our results suggest that financial resources are an important channel, explaining up to 59% of the effect on child cognitive skills. On top of this, parental investments of health behaviours during pregnancy and monetary investments at home explain a further 14% of the test score gaps. 

Publication Type
Working Paper
File Description
First version, November 19, 2019
JEL Codes
D10: Household Behavior: General
I24: Education and Inequality
J13: Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
Child Development
test scores
socio-emotional skills
parental inputs