Francesco Agostinelli

University of Pennsylvania
133 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: University of Pennsylvania

NBER Working Papers and Publications

April 2020It Takes a Village: The Economics of Parenting with Neighborhood and Peer Effects
with Matthias Doepke, Giuseppe Sorrenti, Fabrizio Zilibotti: w27050
As children reach adolescence, peer interactions become increasingly central to their development, whereas the direct influence of parents wanes. Nevertheless, parents may continue to exert leverage by shaping their children's peer groups. We study interactions of parenting style and peer effects in a model where children's skill accumulation depends on both parental inputs and peers, and where parents can affect the peer group by restricting who their children can interact with. We estimate the model and show that it can capture empirical patterns regarding the interaction of peer characteristics, parental behavior, and skill accumulation among US high school students. We use the estimated model for policy simulations. We find that interventions (e.g., busing) that move children to a more...
July 2019Home and School in the Development of Children
with Morteza Saharkhiz, Matthew J. Wiswall: w26037
We develop a unified empirical framework for child development which nests the key features of two previously parallel research programs, the Child Development literature and the Education Production Function literature. Our framework allows for mis-measured cognitive and non-cognitive skills, classroom effects, parental influences, and complementarities/interactions. Although both are important, we estimate that differential parental investments are the more important source of end-of-kindergarten inequality than classroom quality. Higher quality classrooms and home investments have a larger effect on children entering kindergarten with skill deficits, a negative complementarity. Our estimated model replicates patterns by excluded race and family income variables and experimental results ...
July 2016Identification of Dynamic Latent Factor Models: The Implications of Re-Normalization in a Model of Child Development
with Matthew Wiswall: w22441
A recent and growing area of research applies latent factor models to study the development of children's skills. Some normalization is required in these models because the latent variables have no natural units and no known location or scale. We show that the standard practice of “re-normalizing” the latent variables each period is over-identifying and restrictive when used simultaneously with common skill production technologies that already have a known location and scale (KLS). The KLS class of functions include the Constant Elasticity of Substitution (CES) production technologies several papers use in their estimation. We show that these KLS production functions are already restricted in the sense that their location and scale is known (does not need to be identified and estimated) a...
Estimating the Technology of Children's Skill Formation
with Matthew Wiswall: w22442
In this paper we study the process of children's skill formation. The identification of this process is challenging because children's skills are observed only through arbitrarily scaled and imperfect measures. Using a dynamic la- tent factor structure, we provide new identification results which illuminate the key identification trade-offs between restrictions on the skill production technology and the measurement relationships. One of our contributions is to develop empirically grounded restrictions on the measurement process that allow identification of more general production technologies, including those exhibiting Hicks neutral total factor productivity (TFP) dynamics and free returns to scale. We then use our identification results to develop a sequential estimation algorithm for th...
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