Large socioeconomic gaps in school readiness are evident well before the start of formal schooling, suggesting the importance of parents and the home environment for children’s development. More affluent and better-educated parents expend more resources and time on investments for their children that are associated with better developmental outcomes. This class divergence in expenditures has increased over time.
Margot Jackson, Anna Aizer, and Julia Isaacs will examine the extent to which state-level public investments in children and families affect socioeconomic gaps in private investments and child outcomes. They will collect state-level data from a variety of sources on local, state and federal spending on major programs affecting children and families between 1992 and 2015. They will then link the spending data to individual microdata from national surveys to examine the relationship between public and private investments and child outcomes.