Perceived returns from early-life investments and maternal investments in children
April 29, 2018 - Presented by Adeline Delavande from the University of Essex, hosted by the School of Economics, THE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY
Date / Time
11:00 am 29/04/2018 -
12:00 pm 29/04/2018
Merewether Room 498
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.