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The long-lasting effects of family background: A European cross-country comparison

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  • Mazzonna, Fabrizio

Abstract

This paper investigates how and to what extent the association between family socio-economic status (SES) during childhood and old age health, income and cognition varies across 11 European countries. It uses the Survey on Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) and SHARELIFE, which collects retrospective information on respondents’ family backgrounds during their childhood. We also analyze which factors lead to intergenerational persistence of human capital by accounting for childhood health and school performance, education and labor market outcomes. The results show a strong relationship between family SES during childhood and old age outcomes and a large cross-country heterogeneity. Education appears as the main channel for this gradient and explains most of the estimated cross-country heterogeneity. Moreover, we show evidence of a strong correlation between income inequality and our estimates of intergenerational persistence of human capital.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 40 (2014)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 25-42

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:40:y:2014:i:c:p:25-42

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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Keywords: Childhood; Intergenerational transmission; Human capital; Education; Aging; SHARE;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Giorgio Brunello & Guglielmo Weber & Christoph Weiss, 2012. "Books are forever: Early life conditions, education and lifetime earnings in Europe," ISER Discussion Paper 0842, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  2. Schaan, Barbara, 2014. "The interaction of family background and personal education on depressive symptoms in later life," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 94-102.
  3. Brunello, Giorgio & Weber, Guglielmo & Weiss, Christoph T., 2012. "Books Are Forever: Early Life Conditions, Education and Lifetime Income," IZA Discussion Papers 6386, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Till Stowasser & Florian Heiss & Daniel McFadden & Joachim Winter, 2013. "Understanding the SES Gradient in Health Among the Elderly: The Role of Childhood Circumstances," NBER Chapters, in: Discoveries in the Economics of Aging, pages 187-219 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Mark E. McGovern, 2012. "Don't stress: early life conditions, hypertension and selection into associated risk factors," Working Papers 201223, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  6. Mierau & Angelini, 2012. "Social and Economic Aspects of Childhood Health: Evidence from Western-Europe," Research Report 12002-EEF, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
  7. Sarah Gibney & Mark E. McGovern & Erika Sabbath, 2013. "Social Relationships in Later Life: The Role of Childhood Circumstances," Working Papers 201319, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  8. Iris Kesternich & Bettina Siflinger & James P. Smith & Joachim K. Winter, 2014. "The Effects of World War II on Economic and Health Outcomes across Europe," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(1), pages 103-118, March.
  9. Kesternich, Iris & Siflinger, Bettina & Smith, James P. & Winter, Joachim K., 2013. "Individual Behavior as a Pathway between Early-Life Shocks and Adult Health: Evidence from Hunger Episodes in Post-War Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 7713, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Brandt, Martina & Schröder, Mathis, 2013. "SHARELIFE - One Century of Life Histories in Europe," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 1-4.

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