Parental Inputs and Socio-Economic Gaps in Early Child Development
61 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2019
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.
Keywords: child development, test scores, socio-emotional skills, parental inputs, decomposition, ALSPAC
JEL Classification: I24, J13, D10
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