Are Children's Socio-Emotional Skills Shaped by Parental Health Shocks?

52 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2022

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2022


Child skills are shaped by parental investments. Health shocks to parents can affect these investments and their children’s skills. This paper estimates causal effects of severe parental health shocks on child socio-emotional skills. Drawing on a large-scale survey linked to hospital records, we find that socio-emotional skills of 11-16 year-olds are robust to these shocks, except for small reductions in Conscientiousness. We estimate short-run effects with child-fixed effects and dynamics around shocks with event studies. In the long-run, we find some evidence of build-up of effects that may be rationalized with shocks having a delayed impact on children’s skills.

Keywords: Big Five personality traits, development of personality traits, parental health shocks, socio-emotional skills, non-cognitive skills, skill formation

JEL Classification: J240, I100, I210

Suggested Citation

García-Miralles, Esteban and Gensowski, Miriam, Are Children's Socio-Emotional Skills Shaped by Parental Health Shocks? (2022). CESifo Working Paper No. 9880, Available at SSRN: or

Esteban García-Miralles (Contact Author)

Banco de España ( email )

Alcala 50
Madrid 28014

Miriam Gensowski

Rockwool Foundation Research Unit ( email )

Sejroegade 11
DK-2100 Copenhagen

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