Parental Beliefs, Investments, and Child Development: Evidence from a Large-Scale Experiment

50 Pages Posted: 20 Feb 2019

See all articles by Pedro Manuel Carneiro

Pedro Manuel Carneiro

University College London - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Emanuela Galasso

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Italo Xavier Lopez Garcia

RAND Corporation

Paula Bedregal

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile

Miguel Cordero

University of Bristol

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 14, 2019

Abstract

This paper experimentally evaluates a large-scale and low-cost parenting program targeting poor families in Chile. Households in 162 public health centers were randomly assigned to three groups: a control group, a second group that was offered eight weekly group parenting sessions, and a third group that was offered the same eight group sessions plus two sessions of guided interactions between parents and children focused on responsive play and dialogic reading. Three years after the end of the intervention, the receptive vocabulary and the socio-emotional development of children of families participating in either of the treatment arms improved (by 0.43 and 0.54 standard deviation, respectively) relative to children of nonparticipating families. There were no statistically detectable impacts on other types of skills. The treatments also led to improvements in home environments and parenting behaviors of comparable magnitudes, which far outlasted the short duration of the intervention. A simple mediation analysis suggests that up to 13 percent of treatment impacts on language, and up to 36 percent of impacts on child socio-emotional development, can be attributed to changes in the home environment, as well as in nurturing and discipline parenting behaviors.

Keywords: Health Care Services Industry, Reproductive Health, Early Childhood Development, Nutrition, Early Child and Children's Health, Children and Youth, Public Health Promotion, Social Protections & Assistance

Suggested Citation

Carneiro, Pedro Manuel and Galasso, Emanuela and Lopez Garcia, Italo Xavier and Bedregal, Paula and Cordero, Miguel, Parental Beliefs, Investments, and Child Development: Evidence from a Large-Scale Experiment (February 14, 2019). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8743, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3335616

Pedro Manuel Carneiro (Contact Author)

University College London - Department of Economics ( email )

Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Emanuela Galasso

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
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Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-3902 (Phone)
202-522-1153 (Fax)

Italo Xavier Lopez Garcia

RAND Corporation

1776 Main Street
P.O. Box 2138
Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138
United States

Paula Bedregal

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile ( email )

Av Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins 340
Santiago, RegiĆ³n Metropolitana 8331150
Chile

Miguel Cordero

University of Bristol ( email )

University of Bristol,
Senate House, Tyndall Avenue
Bristol, BS8 ITH
United Kingdom

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