Document Type


Publication Date



This paper develops a theory about how signals sent to a child by an altruistic parent affect a child's self-esteem, effort and long-term performance when a parent has better information about child ability than children do themselves. We carry out OLS, 2SLS, and 3SLS estimations of our model on a sample of 651 college students. Our results show some complementary actions before college, such as parental praise, foster academic achievement above what natural ability would predict. Conversely, we find some substitutionary actions before college, such as providing them cars as gifts, are associated with lower effort in college and underachievement. *


This is the accepted version of the following article: Rajeev Darolia and Bruce Wydick. The Economics of Parenting, Self-Esteem, and Academic Performance: Theory and a Test .Economica (April 2011), vol. 78, issue 310, pp. 215-239, which has been published in final form at

Presented at the University of San Francisco Graduate Seminar by Darolia.



Included in

Economics Commons