Understanding Differences in Parent Investments


Economically advantaged and disadvantaged parents invest in different amounts and kinds of time in their children and these time investments matter for children’s development.

The gap between the amount of time that advantaged and disadvantaged parents spend with their children overall and in educationally relevant activities has widened over the last 20 years. There are many theories for what accounts for these phenomena. However, there is little systematic evidence to mediate across these theories. 


The Early Investments Project


The Study

The Early Investments Project is a two-phase study that aims to estimate the causes of differences in parent decision-making by parental advantage.

The pilot project used innovative methods to survey parents of children ages 3-6 across the income spectrum in the Chicagoland area. This pilot was generously supported by Kenneth C. Griffin Applied Economics Incubator at The University of Chicago.

The second phase includes full-scale data collection with a representative sample of parents in the Chicago area. Phase II is generously supported by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and implementation is scheduled for the 2021-2022 school year.

For more information please see links below:

Early Investments Project Phase I Overview



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