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Parental Guidance and Supervised Learning

Alessandro Lizzeri and Marciano Siniscalchi
The Quarterly Journal of Economics
Vol. 123, No. 3 (Aug., 2008), pp. 1161-1195
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25098926
Page Count: 35
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Parental Guidance and Supervised Learning
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Abstract

We propose a simple theoretical model of supervised learning that is potentially useful to interpret a number of empirical phenomena relevant to the nature-nurture debate. The model captures a basic trade-off between sheltering the child from the consequences of his mistakes and allowing him to learn from experience. We characterize the optimal parenting policy and its comparative-statics properties. We then show that key features of the optimal policy can be useful to interpret provocative findings from behavioral genetics.

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