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Essays on Family Choices in Developing Economies

Andrade Baena, Gina; (2019) Essays on Family Choices in Developing Economies. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Important gaps in knowledge remain when investigating the links between family characteristics and human capital investments along the life-cycle. Human capital formation (i.e. skills development) is problematic amongst low-income populations given the risk factors they are exposed to, such as poverty, malnutrition, non-stimulating home environments, and/or mistaken beliefs about returns to investments. Throughout three empirical chapters, this dissertation sheds light on the role of family characteristics and factors influencing two key human capital investments among deprived population in two developing economies: the choice of childcare and time allocation. Chapter 2 examines childcare choices exploiting the experimental design of a scalable early childhood intervention in Colombia. Chapter 3 investigates the role of children’s time use to produce one cognitive skill and two psychosocial skills; and the trade-offs of child work among alternative activities. Chapter 4 examines the relationship of birth order with time use and parental educational aspirations. The investigations in chapters 3 and 4 employ longitudinal data from Young Lives and focus on Peru. Furthermore, the analyses centres in three less documented life-stages within the human capital literature, childhood (ages 6-9), early adolescence (ages 10-14) and transition to adolescence (age 15). Findings in chapter 2 indicate that the stimulation treatment led to an increase up to 4.6 percentages points in informal childcare relative to maternal care. I also find evidence of increases in maternal play time investments. Chapter 3 results show that time inputs effects are marginal for both types of skills, although daily time in educational activities is crucial for verbal development, specifically time spent studying and at school. Finally, in chapter 4, I find that being the second born sibling in two-child families has a significant and negative effect on child work; nonetheless, parents are equally likely to aspire for the highest level of education for both children.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Essays on Family Choices in Developing Economies
Event: University College London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: Econonomics of Education, Family Economics, Human Capital, Early Childhood, Cognitive Skills, Psychosocial Skills
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10072033
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