Skill formation with parenting styles and peer inputs in neighborhoods

As a reaction to the parallel trends of increased income inequality, neighborhood segregation and intensified focus on parenting among the higher SES parents, economists have during the past five years increasingly sought to understand how these trends affect child development and contribute to socioeconomic gaps across families. Recent work combines theories of parenting styles from developmental psychology with economic models of skill formation to explore choices between various parenting styles and the consequences of those choices on children's skill accumulation.

This research project contributes to this agenda theoretically and empirically by modeling and estimating children's accumulation of cognitive and non-cognitive skills in response to parenting styles and peer inputs and the interaction between them. Access to unique survey data on parenting styles and child outcomes enable quantitative analysis of questions that thus far have been addressed predominantly in a qualitative context. At the aggregate level, population-based register data on are used to study the causal relationship between the neighborhood composition of family types and children’s cognitive outcomes. The goal is to identify mechanisms related to parenting behavior and peer formation that may accelerate the aforementioned trends by affecting skill formation. Policy analysis leveraging on the detailed empirical models will guide the design of policies aimed at increasing equality of opportunity.

Project start





Matz Dahlberg (project manager)
Torsten Santavirta
​Miguel Sarzosa

Last modified: 2022-12-06