Child Development in the Early Years: Parental Investment and the Changing Dynamics of Different Dimensions

61 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2020 Last revised: 30 Jun 2022

See all articles by Orazio Attanasio

Orazio Attanasio

Dept of Economics Yale University; Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS); University College London - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Raquel Bernal

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics

Michele Giannola

University of Naples Federico II; CSEF - University of Naples Federico II - Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF); Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

Milagros Nores

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Date Written: September 2020

Abstract

This paper uses the data on child development collected around the evaluation of a nursery program to estimate the details of the process of human development. We model development as made of three latent factors, reflecting health, cognitive and socio-emotional skills. We observe children from age 1 to age 7. We assume that, at each age, these factors interact among themselves and with a variety of other inputs to determine the level of development at following ages. Relative to other studies, the richness of the data we use allows us to: (i) let the dynamics be rich and flexible; (ii) let each factors play a role in the production of any other factor; (iii) estimate age-specific functional forms; (iv) treated parental investment as an endogenous input. We find that the dynamics of the process can be richer than usually assumed, which has important implications for the degree of persistence of different inputs in time. Persistence also changes with age. This has important implications for the targeting of investment and interventions, and the identification of windows of opportunities. The endogeneity of investment is also important.

Suggested Citation

Attanasio, Orazio and Bernal, Raquel and Giannola, Michele and Nores, Milagros, Child Development in the Early Years: Parental Investment and the Changing Dynamics of Different Dimensions (September 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w27812, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3692168

Orazio Attanasio (Contact Author)

Dept of Economics Yale University ( email )

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New Haven, CT 06520-8268
United States

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

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University College London - Department of Economics ( email )

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Raquel Bernal

Universidad de los Andes, Colombia - Department of Economics ( email )

Carrera 1a No. 18A-10
Santafe de Bogota, AA4976
Colombia

Michele Giannola

University of Naples Federico II ( email )

Naples, Naples
Italy

CSEF - University of Naples Federico II - Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF)

Via Cintia
Complesso Monte S. Angelo
Naples, Naples 80126
Italy

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

Milagros Nores

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey ( email )

311 North 5th Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08854
United States

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