Hi all! This week we’re discussing the following readings:
- Heckman, James J. 2008. “Schools, Skills, and Synapses.” Economic Inquiry. 46 (3): 289–324.
- Marteleto, Leticia.J. & Dondero, Molly. 2016. “Racial Inequality in Education in Brazil: A Twins Fixed-Effects Approach” Demography 73(4): 1185–1205.
This week we are discussing how inequalities can be shaped at early childhood. We also discuss sibling differences in adult success to understand how inequalities exist not only between families, but also within the same family environment.
Before going over my PowerPoint presentation, watch the videos below:
Watch the very short video below where Nobel Prize Laureate, James Heckman, and author of the required reading for this week, explains how investing in the early years of disadvantaged children’s lives is both fair and efficient.
The second paper we’re discussing this week, looks at differences in educational attainment for twin siblings where one is labelled as black and the other white in Brazil. How can twin siblings (non-identical) be labelled differently by race? Race is a socially constructed category, as such different societies will use different classifications schemes. In order to illustrate this and to understand a bit about racial inequality in Brazil, watch the videos below before moving on to the slide presentation.
Now, you can go to my PowerPoint presentation with voiceover where I explain important ideas and concepts covered in the readings. (To listen to the voiceover you need to go to presentation mode)
Finally, watch the Ted Talk below where Dalton Conley explores what we need to succeed and what assembly is required in order to do well in school or the workplace. He discusses his research that focuses on the factors that allow some people to succeed while others, perhaps even in the same family, fail.
Lecture Posts Questions:
On the comments section below, address the following questions (answers should be at least 100 words in length and posted by Sunday – This is how participation points are assessed (worth 30% of your final grade!) Please save your comments in a safe document before attempting to post it.
- From the PowerPoint presentation is everything clear?
- From the Heckman reading are all concepts clear? Do you have any questions?
- From the Marteleto and Dondero (2016) reading are all concepts clear? Do you have any questions?
- Summarize the main takeaways from the videos. Do you have any questions?
- So, what is your opinion? How much does nature or nurture matter in shaping life chances and outcomes? Do you think parents invest equally in their children (and should they)? What can we learn from analyzing differences in siblings? Methodologically why do we care about sibling comparisons?