Children’s economic and social outcomes, both during their childhood and in their adult years, largely depend on the circumstances into which they are born and raised. Such circumstances are the product of children’s families, schools, and neighborhoods; the peers and adults with whom they spend time; the media images that shape their perceptions of themselves and their place in the world; and other factors—both internal and external to the individual child. Many would say that culture plays a large role in shaping a child’s life experiences and outcomes.
On Thursday, July 23, Princeton University and the Brookings Institution highlighted the release the latest issue of “Future of Children,” titled “How Cultural Factors Shape Economic Outcomes,” edited by Melissa Kearney and Ron Haskins. The volume aims to identify and measure elements of culture that predict children’s economic and social outcomes, and to present the best evidence to date about how these factors shape children’s economic outcomes. The webinar featured a discussion among some of the volume’s authors and focused on the issues covered in their respective chapters. The author panelists were Rebecca Ryan on parenting practices and socioeconomic gaps in children’s outcomes; Mesmin Destin on the role of beliefs, expectations, and perceptions of economic mobility; Phil Levine on the impact of role models and media on children’s outcomes; and Melanie Wasserman on the disparate ways that family structure affects outcomes for different groups of children.
Viewers can submitted questions via Twitter with #FutureofChildren.