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Interactions Between Family and School Environments: Evidence on Dynamic Complementarities?

Ofer Malamud, Cristian Pop-Eleches, Miguel Urquiola

NBER Working Paper No. 22112
Issued in March 2016
NBER Program(s):Children, Economics of Education

This paper explores whether conditions during early childhood affect the productivity of later human capital investments. We use Romanian administrative data to ask if the benefit of access to better schools is larger for children who experienced better family environments because their parents had access to abortion. We combine regression discontinuity and differences-in-differences designs to estimate impacts on a high-stakes school-leaving exam. Although we find that access to abortion and access to better schools each have positive impacts, we do not find evidence of significant interactions between these shocks. While these results suggest the absence of dynamic complementarities in human capital formation, survey data suggest that they may also reflect behavioral responses by students and parents.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22112

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