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Do Parental Absence and Children’s Gender Affect Early Childhood Investment? Evidence from Rural Thailand

NGỌC TÚ T. Ä Inh and Weerachart Kilenthong ()
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NGỌC TÚ T. Ä Inh: Research Institute for Policy Evaluation and Design (RIPED), University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce, 126/1 Building 21, 7th Floor, Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, Dindaeng, Bangkok 10400, Thailand

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Thi Ngoc Tu Dinh

The Singapore Economic Review (SER), 2021, vol. 66, issue 05, 1443-1468

Abstract: This paper studies how parental absence and children’s gender affect early childhood investment using a new dataset from rural Thailand. We found that relative to boys, girls received more time but less material investment. Relative to children with at least one parent present, children with absent parents received significantly less material investment; however, time investment was not significantly different between the two groups. Based on an economic model of early childhood investment, these results suggest that relative to material investment, time investment is more important for girls than for boys, and for households with absent parents than for households with at least one parent present. The estimation of the elasticity of substitution between time and material investments suggests that both types of investments are surprisingly complementary.

Keywords: Parental investment; early childhood investment; left-behind children; parental absence; child’s gender; elasticity of substitution (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1142/S0217590819500267

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