Calibration of an Agent-Based Model of Transgenerational Processes and Disparities in Early-Life Academic Performance

Michael R. Kramer , Emory University
Kaitlyn Stanhope, Emory University
Narjes Shojaati, University of Saskatchewan
Allen McLean, University of Saskatchewan

Early childhood academic readiness and success are early drivers of adult educational attainment, social status, and health. While there is important evidence for the role of pre-school educational opportunity as a predictor of primary and secondary school success, less is known about the relative contributions of transgenerational processes as mediated through pregnancy outcomes (preterm birth), or socioeconomic pathways. We use an agent-based model (ABM) to assist in contrasting the potential for policy interventions targeting persons (e.g. early childhood intervention or parenting classes), places (e.g. neighborhood amenities like preschool or elementary school quality), or transgenerational processes (e.g. targeting disparities in preterm birth or early intervention for children born preterm). The ABM includes ‘mother’, ‘daughter’, and ‘neighborhood’ agents with potential for residential mobility, socioeconomic trajectories, and the accrual of lifecourse ‘Stress Scores’ and ‘Learning Quotient’. We describe the model structure, and provide calibration results to compare model-emergent properties with empirical observations.

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 Presented in Session 8. Economy, Labor Force, Education, & Inequality