NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Human Capital Development and Parental Investment in India

Orazio Attanasio, Costas Meghir, Emily Nix

NBER Working Paper No. 21740
Issued in November 2015, Revised in July 2017
NBER Program(s):Children, Development Economics

We estimate production functions for cognition and health for children aged 1-12 in India, where over 70 million children aged 0-5 are at risk of developmental deficits. The inputs into the production functions include parental background, prior child cognition and health, and child investments. We use income and local prices to control for the endogeneity of investments. We find that cognition is sensitive to investments throughout the age range we consider, while health is mainly affected by early investments. We also find that inputs are complementary, and crucially that health is very important in determining cognition. Our paper contributes in understanding how investments and early health outcomes are important in child development.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21740

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