Review of Economics of the Household

, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 121–147 | Cite as

Parenting skills and early childhood development: production function estimates from longitudinal data

  • Jade Marcus JenkinsEmail author
  • Sudhanshu Handa


We provide evidence on the importance of specific inputs for child cognitive skills by estimating alternative specifications of the early childhood production function, between birth and kindergarten. We identify a new input measure, parent–child interaction, which is both important for development and amenable to policy intervention because parenting skills can be taught. We find that the application of reading books and singing songs and sensitive and engaging parent–child interactions as early as 9 months of age have an important effect on reading among kindergarten children.


Early childhood development Parenting skills Education production function Human capital formation 

JEL Classification

D1 I2 J1 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Supplementary material

11150_2017_9376_MOESM1_ESM.docx (198 kb)
Supplementary Information


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA
  2. 2.Department of Public PolicyUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and UNICEFChapel HillUSA

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