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Essays on early childhood development

Jervis Ortiz, Pamela; (2018) Essays on early childhood development. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Recent research demonstrates that the e↵ects of early childhood environments last a lifetime. There is a vast literature on how parental characteristics and household environment a↵ect investment in children’s human capital, but little about how parents’ investment decisions and the structure of family dynamics behave. The pathways linking parental characteristics to long-term child outcomes remain unclear. A better understanding of these relationships requires novel modes of inquiry that transcend those of any particular discipline. In this thesis dissertation, I study early skill formation and which factors motivate parental human capital investments by using dynamic behavioural models. Over the four chapters of this dissertation, I address some crucial and unknown research questions as What are the processes (biological, neurological, psychological) that govern the components of human flourishing? How do acquired skills generate new skills and how do they vary at di↵erent stages of early ages? What are the determinants of parental investments in children and what are the constraints they face? What are the channels, if any, through which parents’ decisions a↵ect child outcomes? Do their decisions respond to incentives/stimulation? Can parents’ decisions/behaviour be a↵ected through public policies and by doing so change child outcomes? Doing this, I aim to expand the scope of research on child development to explicitly account for the dynamic interpersonal relationships of attachment, interaction, and sca↵olding emphasised in the literature on early child development as well as the fact that it is indispensable to develop more complex economic analysis where preferences, technologies, parental decisions and the importance of dynamics are simultaneously considered in a model. Using models as the ones that I develop in this thesis dissertation it is possible to understand the mechanisms behind decision-making and use them to simulate policies ex-ante that are crucial to addressing all these questions.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Essays on early childhood development
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of SandHS > Dept of Economics
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10058970
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