Maternal time investment in early childhood

Researchers have shown that early childhood (pre-primary) education is quite important. Skill differences among children already exist by the time they start primary school, and they’re likely to persist over time. But how do these skill differences arise?

Factors including income, family structure, parental education, maternal employment, child care, school quality and neighborhood characteristics all play a role. But the subject of this post is maternal time investment in early childhood.

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Are parents more risk-averse?

Risk preferences (i.e. whether someone likes or dislikes risk) are important for a variety of decisions. These include for instance career choice or financial decisions. But just how much do risk preferences vary over one’s lifetime?

Studies have shown that there can be macro shocks to risk attitudes. This could happen for instance when natural disasters, civil conflicts or financial crises happen. Micro (individual) level shocks to risk preferences have also been documented in case of job displacement or serious health diagnoses. This post presents evidence that becoming a parent also affects risk preferences.

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