Parenting Style as an Investment in Human Development

49 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2016

See all articles by Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

School of Economics, University of Sydney; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Nicolas Salamanca

University of Melbourne; IZA; University of Melbourne - ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course

Anna Zhu

RMIT University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 8, 2016

Abstract

We propose a household production function approach to human development that explicitly considers the role of parenting style in child rearing. Specifically, we model parenting style as an investment in human development that depends not only on inputs of time and market goods, but also on attention, i.e. cognitive effort. The model links socioeconomic disadvantage to parenting style and human development through the constraints that disadvantage places on cognitive capacity. We find empirical support for our model. We demonstrate that parenting style is a construct that is distinct from standard goods- and time-intensive parental investments and that effective parenting styles are negatively correlated with socioeconomic disadvantage. Moreover, parenting style is an important determinant of young adults’ human capital net of other parental investments.

Keywords: Parenting style, cognitive load, locus of control, socioeconomic disadvantage, parental investments, human development

JEL Classification: D13, I31, J13

Suggested Citation

Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. and Salamanca, Nicolas and Zhu, Anna, Parenting Style as an Investment in Human Development (February 8, 2016). Melbourne Institute Working Paper No. 3/16. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2729578 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2729578

Deborah A. Cobb-Clark

School of Economics, University of Sydney ( email )

606 Social Sciences Bldg. (A02)
The University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006
Australia
61435061387 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Nicolas Salamanca (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne ( email )

185 Pelham Street
Carlton, Victoria 3053
Australia

IZA ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

University of Melbourne - ARC Centre of Excellence for Children and Families over the Life Course ( email )

Anna Zhu

RMIT University ( email )

124 La Trobe Street
Melbourne, 3000
Australia

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