The Economics of Parenting, Self-Esteem and Academic Performance: Theory and a Test

25 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2011

See all articles by Rajeev Darolia

Rajeev Darolia

George Washington University

Bruce Wydick

University of San Francisco - Department of Economics

Date Written: March 14, 2011

Abstract

This paper develops a theory about how signals sent to a child by an altruistic parent affect the child's self-esteem, effort and long-term performance when the parent has better information about child ability than the child does. We carry out OLS, 2SLS and 3SLS estimations of our model on a sample of 651 college students. Our results show that some complementary actions before college, such as parental praise, foster academic achievement above what natural ability would predict. Conversely, we find that some substitutionary actions before college, e.g. providing cars as gifts, are associated with lower effort in college and underachievement.

Suggested Citation

Darolia, Rajeev and Wydick, Bruce, The Economics of Parenting, Self-Esteem and Academic Performance: Theory and a Test (March 14, 2011). Economica, Vol. 78, No. 310, pp. 215-239, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1786227 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0335.2009.00802.x

Rajeev Darolia

George Washington University

2121 I Street NW
Washington, DC 20052
United States

Bruce Wydick

University of San Francisco - Department of Economics ( email )

2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117-1080
United States

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