Date / Time

11:00 am 29/04/2018 -

12:00 pm 29/04/2018


Merewether Room 498


The University of Sydney, Camperdown NSW, Australia

The University of Sydney, Camperdown NSW, Australia

In this study we draw on newly-collected data form rural Pakistan to provide insights into the link between parental beliefs on the returns to early-life investments, investment costs, parental preferences over children’s developmental outcomes, and parental investment choices. Our results show significant heterogeneity in the expected return from early-life investments, and evidence suggests that beliefs and costs are important determinants of the intensity of breastfeeding and child interaction. On the other hand, we find limited evidence of the existence of heterogeneity in preferences across mothers, suggesting that the observed differences in parental investment are hardly driven by differences in the valuation of children developmental outcomes. Moreover, early-life investments seem to be mostly driven by a perceived increase in child’s cognitive development. We find that a 10 pp increase in the expected probability that a child will learn well at school if a mother both breastfeeds and plays with the child increases the likelihood of a mother being both breastfeeding and playing with the child by 1.2 percentage point.