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Maternal education, parental investment and non-cognitive characteristics in rural China

Jessica Leight and Elaine Liu

No 2018-039, Working Papers from Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group

Abstract: The importance of non-cognitive skills in determining long-term human capital and labor market outcomes is widely acknowledged, but relatively little is known about how educational investments by parents may respond to children's non-cognitive characteristics. This paper evaluates the parental response to non-cognitive variation across siblings in rural Gansu province, China, employing a household fixed effects specification; the non-cognitive measures of interest are defined as the inverse of both externalizing challenges (behavioral problems and aggression) and internalizing challenges (anxiety and withdrawal). The results suggest that there is significant heterogeneity with respect to maternal education. More educated mothers appear to compensate for differences between their children, investing more in a child who exhibits greater non-cognitive deficits, while less educated mothers reinforce these differences. Most importantly, there is evidence that these compensatory investments are associated with the narrowing of non-cognitive deficits over time for children of more educated mothers, while there is no comparable pattern in households with less educated mothers.

Keywords: non-cognitive characteristics; parental investments; intrahousehold resource allocation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D13 I24 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cna, nep-dev, nep-edu, nep-neu and nep-tra
Note: MIP
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http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Leight ... ment_rural-China.pdf First version, June 13, 2018 (application/pdf)

Related works:
Journal Article: Maternal Education, Parental Investment, and Noncognitive Characteristics in Rural China (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Maternal Education, Parental Investment and Non-Cognitive Characteristics in Rural China (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Maternal Education, Parental Investment and Non-Cognitive Characteristics in Rural China (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Maternal Education, Parental Investment and Non-cognitive Characteristics in Rural China (2016) Downloads
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