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Education Expenditure and Parenting Styles: Evidence from Cognitive Development in China

Lin Zhang ()
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Lin Zhang: Kindai University

Journal of Family and Economic Issues, 2021, vol. 42, issue 4, No 9, 729-744

Abstract: Abstract Does education spending affect parental investment in human capital, such as parenting practices? If so, is the influence positive or negative? Using pooled cross-sectional data from the China Family Panel Studies, this study investigated whether and how parenting practices were affected by education expenditure across provinces using instrumental variable estimations. The results were as follows: (1) Parents in regions with higher education spending were more likely to obtain a higher score on control behavior, a dimension related to parental demandingness, involvement, and monitoring; (2) Parents in regions with lower education spending were more likely to show harshness, a behavior associated with hostility, punitiveness, and coercion, towards their children and adopt harsh parenting practices, such as physical punishment and scolding. These results jointly indicated that parents in environments with greater education spending tend to adopt an authoritative parenting practice, which is considered the most effective parenting style. The findings of this study highlight the importance of education spending in improving educational attainments and reveal a spillover effect from school to family in human capital formation.

Keywords: Parenting practices; Education expenditure; Child development; Parental investment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s10834-020-09750-4

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