nep-neu New Economics Papers
on Neuroeconomics
Issue of 2017‒07‒23
two papers chosen by
Daniel Houser
George Mason University

  1. The First 2,000 Days and Child Skills: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment of Home Visiting By Orla Doyle
  2. Human Capital Development and Parental Investment in India. By Orazio Attanasio; Costas Meghir; Emily Nix

  1. By: Orla Doyle (University College Dublin)
    Abstract: Using a randomized experiment, this study investigates the impact of sustained investment in parenting, from pregnancy until age five, in the context of extensive welfare provision. Providing the Preparing for Life program, incorporating home visiting, group parenting, and baby massage, to disadvantaged Irish families raises children’s cognitive and socio-emotional/behavioral scores by two-thirds and one-quarter of a standard deviation respectively by school entry. There are few differential effects by gender and stronger gains for firstborns. The results also suggest that socioeconomic gaps in children’s skills are narrowed. Analyses account for small sample size, differential attrition, multiple testing, contamination, and performance bias.
    Keywords: early childhood intervention, cognitive skills, socio-emotional skills, behavioral skills, randomized controlled trial, multiple-hypothesis testing, permutation testing, inverse probability weighting
    JEL: C93 D13 I26 J13
    Date: 2017–07
  2. By: Orazio Attanasio (University College of London); Costas Meghir (Yale University); Emily Nix (UCL and USC FBE Marshall)
    Abstract: We estimate production functions for cognition and health for children aged 1-12 in India, where over 70 million children aged 0-5 are at risk of developmental deficits.The inputs into the production functions include parental background, prior child cognition and health, and child investments. We use income and local prices to control for the endogeneity of investments. We find that cognition is sensitive to investments throughout the age range we consider, while health is mainly affected by early investments. We also find that inputs are complementary, and crucially that health is very important in determining cognition. Our paper contributes in understanding how investments and early health outcomes are important in child development. Classification-I14,I15,I25,I32,J13,J24,O 15
    Date: 2017–07

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