John List, Julie Pernaudet, Dana Suskind, 12 December 2021

Rising educational and income inequalities have been documented in nearly every corner of the earth, with associated disparities in parental investments in children. This column reports the results of two field experiments that reveal how shifting parents’ beliefs about the role of parental inputs in child development can lead to higher parental investments and be a pathway to reducing socioeconomic gaps in children’s skills.

Elisabeth Grewenig, Philipp Lergetporer, Katharina Werner, Ludger Woessmann, Larissa Zierow, 15 November 2020

A key feature of school closures is that there is no trained educator in the room to help. This column argues that low-achieving students are particularly affected by the lack of teacher support. Based on a German time-use survey, it finds that students on average reduced daily learning time by about half during the school closures. This reduction was significantly larger for low-achieving students, who disproportionately replaced learning time with activities deemed detrimental to child development such as computer gaming rather than with more conducive activities such as reading. 

Tom Hertz, Tamara Jayasundera, Patrizio Piraino, Sibel Selcuk, Nicole Smith, Alina Verashchagina, 26 July 2008

Across the globe, children of well-off parents are generally well off; the offspring of the downtrodden are usually downtrodden. But why? This column marshals new empirical evidence on the persistence of educational attainment and its role in intergenerational transmission of social economic status.

James Heckman, Paul LaFontaine, 13 February 2008

Official statistics for US high school graduation rates mask a growing educational divide. This column presents research showing that a record number of Americans are going to university – while an increasing number are dropping out of high school. This poses major social challenges for the United States.

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