The Inter-Generational Transmission of Cognitive Abilities in Guatemala
Calderón, María Cecilia; Hoddinott, John
This paper examines early childhood development (ECD) outcomes and their association with family characteristics, investments, and environmental factors, with particular emphasis on the inter- generational transmission of cognitive abilities. The paper examines the causal relationship between parental cognitive abilities and ECD outcomes of their offspring using a rich data set from rural Guatemala that can account for such unobservable factors. A 10 percent increase in maternal Raven's scores increase children's Raven's scores by 7.8 percent. A 10 percent increase in maternal reading and vocabulary skills increases children's score on a standard vocabulary test by 5 percent. Effects are larger for older children, and the impact of maternal cognitive skills is larger than for paternal skills.