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How Large Are the Effects from Changes in Family Environment? A Study of Korean American Adoptees

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  • Bruce Sacerdote

Abstract

I analyze a new set of data on Korean American adoptees who were quasirandomly assigned to adoptive families. I find large effects on adoptees' education, income, and health from assignment to parents with more education and from assignment to smaller families. Parental education and family size are significantly more correlated with adoptee outcomes than are parental income or neighborhood characteristics. Outcomes such as drinking, smoking, and the selectivity of college attended are more determined by nurture than is educational attainment. Using the standard behavioral genetics variance decomposition, I find that shared family environment explains 14 percent of the variation in educational attainment, 35 percent of the variation in college selectivity, and 33 percent of the variation in drinking behavior. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Quarterly Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 122 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (02)
Pages: 119-157

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:qjecon:v:122:y:2007:i:1:p:119-157

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Web page: http://mitpress.mit.edu/journals/

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Cited by:
  1. David, Cesarini & Dawes, Christopher T. & Johannesson, Magnus & Lichtenstein, Paul & Wallace, Björn, 2007. "Genetic Variation in Preferences for Giving and Risk-Taking," Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 679, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 12 Jan 2009.
  2. Mevlude Akbulut-Yuksel & Belgi Turan, 2010. "Left Behind: Intergenerational Transmission of Human Captial in the Midst of HIV/AIDS," Department of Economics at Dalhousie University working papers archive akbulut_hiv.pdf, Dalhousie, Department of Economics.
  3. Gelber, Alexander & Isen, Adam, 2013. "Children's schooling and parents' behavior: Evidence from the Head Start Impact Study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 25-38.
  4. Sabia, Joseph J. & Rees, Daniel I., 2012. "Body weight and wages: Evidence from Add Health," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 14-19.
  5. Robert Lucas & Sari Kerr, 2013. "Intergenerational income immobility in Finland: contrasting roles for parental earnings and family income," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 1057-1094, July.
  6. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Platt Boustan & Katherine Eriksson, 2010. "Europe's tired, poor, huddled masses: Self-selection and economic outcomes in the age of mass migration," NBER Working Papers 15684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Michael M. Pichler, 2010. "The Economics of Cultural Formation of Preferences," Working Papers 431, Bielefeld University, Center for Mathematical Economics.
  8. Coneus, Katja & Spiess, C. Katharina, 2012. "The intergenerational transmission of health in early childhood—Evidence from the German Socio-Economic Panel Study," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 89-97.
  9. Patricia M. Anderson & Kristin F. Butcher & Diane Whitemore Schanzenbach, 2007. "Childhood Disadvantage and Obesity: Is Nurture Trumping Nature?," NBER Chapters, in: The Problems of Disadvantaged Youth: An Economic Perspective, pages 149-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Washington, Ebonya, 2007. "Female Socialization How Daughters Affect Their Legislator Fathers' Voting on Women's Issues," Working Papers 15, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  11. Paul Gregg & Carol Propper & Elizabeth Washbrook, 2008. "Understanding the Relationship between Parental Income and Multiple Child Outcomes: a decomposition analysis," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 08/193, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  12. Barnea, Amir & Cronqvist, Henrik & Siegel, Stephan, 2010. "Nature or nurture: What determines investor behavior?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(3), pages 583-604, December.
  13. Rud, I. & Van Klaveren, C. & Groot, W. and Maassen van den Brink, H., 2012. "The externalities of crime: The effect of criminal involvement of parents on the educational attainment of their children," Working Papers 44, Top Institute for Evidence Based Education Research.
  14. Leandro Carvalho, 2012. "Childhood Circumstances and the Intergenerational Transmission of Socioeconomic Status," Demography, Springer, vol. 49(3), pages 913-938, August.

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