NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Jennifer Culhane

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2013Eliciting Maternal Expectations about the Technology of Cognitive Skill Formation
with Flávio Cunha, Irma Elo: w19144
In this paper, we formulate a model of early childhood development in which mothers have subjective expectations about the technology of skill formation. The model is useful for understanding how maternal knowledge about child development affects the maternal choices of investments in the human capital of children. Unfortunately, the model is not identified from data that are usually available to econometricians. To solve this problem, we conduct a study where mothers were interviewed to elicit maternal expectations about the technology of skill formation. We interviewed a sample of socioeconomically disadvantaged African‐American women. We find that the median subjective expectation about the elasticity of child development with respect to investments is between 4% and 19%. In comparison,...
 
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