Public Investments, Private Investments and Class Gaps in Child Development

This project will comprehensively examine the effects of public investments on inequality in family behavior and children's academic learning. Recent research identifies significant class gaps in “parental investments,” defined by expenditures and time with children, as well as in children’s academic achievement. Public investments in children and families, though increasingly under threat, have the potential to reduce class gaps in child investments both by providing a “floor” of investment and potentially freeing low-income parents to reallocate expenditures and time use from basic necessities and basic care to development investment.