NBER Working Papers and Publications by Sarah Cattan

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Working Papers and Chapters and Reporter Articles

February 2015Estimating the Production Function for Human Capital: Results from a Randomized Control Trial in Colombia
with Orazio Attanasio, Emla Fitzsimons, Costas Meghir, Marta Rubio-Codina: w20965
We examine the channels through which a randomized early childhood intervention in Colombia led to significant gains in cognitive and socio-emotional skills among a sample of disadvantaged children aged 12 to 24 months at baseline. We estimate the determinants of material and time investments in these children and evaluate the impact of the treatment on such investments. We then estimate the production functions for cognitive and socio-emotional skills. The effects of the program can be explained by increases in parental investments, which have strong effects on outcomes and are complementary to both maternal skills and child's baseline skills.
October 2010Identifying Sibling Influence on Teenage Substance Use
with Joseph G. Altonji, Iain Ware: w16508
A number of studies have found substantial correlations in risky behavior between siblings, raising the possibility that adolescents may directly influence the actions of their brothers or sisters. We assess the extent to which correlations in substance use and selling drugs are due to causal effects. Our identification strategy relies on panel data, the fact that the future does not cause the past, and the assumption that the direction of influence is from older siblings to younger siblings. Under this assumption along with other restrictions on dynamics, one can identify the causal effect from a regression of the behavior of the younger sibling on the past behavior and the future behavior of the older sibling. We also estimate a joint dynamic model of the behavior of older and younger si...

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