Intergenerational Effects of Early-Life Advantage: Lessons from a Primate Study

35 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2020 Last revised: 16 Oct 2021

See all articles by Amanda Dettmer

Amanda Dettmer

affiliation not provided to SSRN

James J. Heckman

University of Chicago - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); American Bar Foundation; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Juan Pantano

Washington University in St. Louis - Department of Economics

Victor Ronda

Johns Hopkins University Department of Economics

Stephen Suomi

NICHD

Date Written: August 2020

Abstract

This paper uses three decades of studies with Rhesus monkeys to investigate the intergenerational effects of early life advantage. Monkeys and their offspring were both randomly assigned to be reared together or apart from their mothers. We document significant intergenerational effects of maternal presence. We also estimate, for the first time, the intergenerational complementarity of early life advantage, where the intergenerational effects of maternal rearing are only present for offspring that were mother-reared. This finding suggests that parenting is the primary mechanism driving the intergenerational effects. Our paper demonstrates how studies of primates can inform human development.

Suggested Citation

Dettmer, Amanda and Heckman, James J. and Pantano, Juan and Ronda, Victor and Suomi, Stephen, Intergenerational Effects of Early-Life Advantage: Lessons from a Primate Study (August 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w27737, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3683613

Amanda Dettmer (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

James J. Heckman

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-0634 (Phone)
773-702-8490 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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American Bar Foundation

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Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Juan Pantano

Washington University in St. Louis - Department of Economics ( email )

One Brookings Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130
United States

Victor Ronda

Johns Hopkins University Department of Economics ( email )

3400 Charles Stree
Baltimore, MA 21218-2685
United States

Stephen Suomi

NICHD ( email )

31 Center Drive
Building 31, Room 2A32
Bethesda, MD 20892-2425
United States

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