An empirical investigation of the determinants of human capital among Canadian youth

Frenette, Marc (2010) An empirical investigation of the determinants of human capital among Canadian youth. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The objective of this thesis is to identify various determinants of human capital development among Canadian youth. Three mediating agents are examined: parents, schools, and government. Considerable attention is paid throughout to identifying causal relationships with empirical data.

The first chapter introduces the thesis by discussing its main goals, as well as the importance of the topic. This chapter also summarizes each of the following substantive chapters.

I explore the relationship between family size and various components of the child quality production function in the second chapter. The findings suggest that larger families lead to reduced parental investments in children. Despite this, standardized test scores do not decline with family size. Three possible reasons for this puzzle are explored.

In the third chapter, I estimate the relationship between fertility and the allocation of paid and unpaid labour among couples. Results indicate that additional children lead to a reduction in paid hours and to an even larger increase in unpaid hours among mothers. Additional children are not related to paternal paid hours, although fathers spend slightly more time performing unpaid childcare.

In the fourth chapter, I estimate the impact of schooling on academic performance in high school. Additional schooling is associated with significant improvements in reading, mathematics, and science performance, but it confers the same benefits in each area to students across the conditional distribution of academic performance, as well as to both sexes and to students from high and low income families.

I examine the relationship between prospective student debt load and postsecondary attendance in the fifth chapter. The results indicate that reduced prospective debt load raise university enrolment only among students facing lower net returns to attending.

The final chapter summarizes the findings, highlights the contributions to the literature, discusses policy implications, and sets forth directions for future research.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Wright, P.W.
Disney, R.
Subjects: H Social sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Economics
Item ID: 11439
Depositing User: EP, Services
Date Deposited: 25 May 2011 13:22
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2017 15:48

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