Discussion Paper

No. 2010-29 | December 17, 2010
Why Do Educated Mothers Matter? A Model of Parental Help
(Published in Special Issue Quasi Markets in Education)


This paper investigates the role performed by mothers in affecting their childrens’ performance at school. The article develops firstly a theoretical model in which household (parent–child pair) is treated as an individual, whose utility depends both on the performance at school of the student and on consumption. The model focuses on the different possibilities through which help of mothers may affect pupil’s performance both in terms of time devoted to supervision and spillover effects. Empirical evidence then, using PISA 2006 and focusing on Italian case, shows that education of mothers is an issue when interacted with her occupational status. Highly educated mothers have a positive impact on students’ score only when they are highly qualified in the job market.

Paper submitted to the special issue: Quasi Markets in Education 

JEL Classification:

J12, J21, J24


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Cite As

Luciano Canova and Alessandro Vaglio (2010). Why Do Educated Mothers Matter? A Model of Parental Help. Economics Discussion Papers, No 2010-29, Kiel Institute for the World Economy. http://www.economics-ejournal.org/economics/discussionpapers/2010-29

Comments and Questions

Anonymous - comment on paper
January 19, 2011 - 18:30

I thought this paper had interesting results, but did not find that the early part of the paper (the model) connected well to the latter part of the paper (the empirical work). The model was contrived to lead to the particular result and really the empirical work could have ...[more]

... been presented with simply a verbal lead-in as the basic idea was quite straightforward. Also it would be nice to have the latter part be more of a comparative approach with regressions for different countries highlighted rather than the focus on the Italian case per se.

Anonymous - Referee Report 1
March 30, 2011 - 08:47

See attached file

Luciano Canova and Alessandro Vaglio - Reply to Referee Report 1
April 07, 2011 - 14:30

See attached file