Parenting Style as an Investment in Human Development

24 September 2021

We propose a household production function approach to human development that explicitly considers the role of parenting style in child rearing. Specifically, parenting style is modelled as an investment that depends not only on inputs of time and market goods, but also on attention. Our model relates socioeconomic disadvantage to parenting style and human development through the constraints that disadvantage places on cognitive capacity. We find empirical support for key features of our model. Parenting style is a construct that is distinctive to standard parental investments and is important for young-adult outcomes. Effective parenting styles are negatively correlated with disadvantage.