NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Francesco Agostinelli

University of Pennsylvania
133 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

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Institutional Affiliation: University of Pennsylvania

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2019Home and School in the Development of Children
with Morteza Saharkhiz, Matthew J. Wiswall: w26037
We develop a unified empirical framework for child development which nests the key features of two previously parallel research programs, the Child Development literature and the Education Production Function literature. Our framework allows for mis-measured cognitive and non-cognitive skills, classroom effects, parental influences, and complementarities. Although both are important, we estimate that differential parental investments are the more important source of end-of-kindergarten inequality than classroom quality. Quality classrooms have a larger effect on children entering kindergarten with skill deficits. Our estimated model replicates out-of-sample patterns by excluded race and family income variables and experimental results from the Tennessee STAR experiment.
July 2016Identification of Dynamic Latent Factor Models: The Implications of Re-Normalization in a Model of Child Development
with Matthew Wiswall: w22441
A recent and growing area of research applies latent factor models to study the development of children's skills. Some normalization is required in these models because the latent variables have no natural units and no known location or scale. We show that the standard practice of “re-normalizing” the latent variables each period is over-identifying and restrictive when used simultaneously with common skill production technologies that already have a known location and scale (KLS). The KLS class of functions include the Constant Elasticity of Substitution (CES) production technologies several papers use in their estimation. We show that these KLS production functions are already restricted in the sense that their location and scale is known (does not need to be identified and estimated) a...
Estimating the Technology of Children's Skill Formation
with Matthew Wiswall: w22442
We develop a new estimator for the process of children's skill formation in which children's skills endogenously develop according to a dynamic latent factor structure. Rather than assuming skills are measured perfectly by a particular measure, we accommodate the variety of skills measures used in practice and allow latent skills to be measured with error using a system of arbitrarily located and scaled measures. For commonly estimated production technologies, which already have a known location and scale, we prove non-parametric identification of the primitive production function parameters. We treat the parameters of the measurement model as "nuisance" parameters and use transformations of moments of the measurement data to eliminate them, analogous to the data transformations used to ...
 
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