Parental choices, children's skills, and skill inequality: An agent-based model implemented in Python 1.0.0

This agent-based simulation model (ABM) explores the emergence of intragenerational and intergenerational skill inequality at the societal level that results from differences in parental investment behavior at the household level during early stages of the life course. Parental behavior is modeled as optimal, heuristic-based, or norm-oriented. Skills grow according to the technology of skill formation developed in the field of economics, calibrated with empirically estimated parameters from existing research. Agents go through a simplified life course. During childhood and adolescence, skills are produced through parental investments. In adulthood, individuals find a partner, give birth to the next generation, and invest in offspring. Number and spacing of children and available resources are treated as exogenous factors and are varied experimentally. The simulation can best be described as a middle-range model, informed by research on skill formation and the intrahousehold allocation of resources. It is a first step toward more complex ABMs on inequality from a life-course perspective. The Overview, Design Concepts, and Details (ODD) protocol was used to document the model.
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