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Does Quality Time Produce Quality Children? Evidence on the Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital using Parental Deaths

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  • Gould, Eric D
  • Simhon, Avi

Abstract

This paper uses variation created by parental deaths in the amount of time children spend with each parent to examine whether the parent-child correlation in schooling outcomes stems from a causal relationship. Using a large sample of Israeli children who lost one parent during childhood, we find a series of striking patterns which show that the relationship is largely causal. Relative to children who did not lose a parent, the education of the deceased parent is less important in determining child outcomes, while the education of the surviving parent becomes a stronger factor. Moreover, within the group of families that lost a parent, this pattern intensifies when a child loses a parent earlier in life--the education of the deceased parent becomes even less important, while the effect of the surviving parent’s schooling intensifies. These results provide strong evidence that there is a causal connection between parent and child schooling, which is dependent on the child’s interaction time with each parent. These findings help us understand why educated parents typically spend more time with their children--they are more effective in producing human capital in their children.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8258.

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Date of creation: Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8258

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Keywords: education; intergenerational mobility;

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  4. Eric D. Gould & Victor Lavy & M. Daniele Paserman, 2009. "Sixty Years after the Magic Carpet Ride: The Long-Run Effect of the Early Childhood Environment on Social and Economic Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 14884, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Anne Case & Christina Paxson & Joseph Ableidinger, 2004. "Orphans in Africa: Parental Death, Poverty and School Enrollment," Working Papers 256, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
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  7. Philip Oreopoulos & Marianne E. Page, 2006. "The Intergenerational Effects of Compulsory Schooling," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 729-760, October.
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  16. Erik Plug & Wim Vijverberg, 2003. "Schooling, Family Background, and Adoption: Is It Nature or Is It Nurture?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 611-641, June.
  17. Erik Plug, 2004. "Estimating the Effect of Mother's Schooling on Children's Schooling Using a Sample of Adoptees," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 358-368, March.
  18. Holmlund, Helena & Lindahl, Mikael & Plug, Erik, 2008. "The Causal Effect of Parent's Schooling on Children's Schooling: A Comparison of Estimation Methods," IZA Discussion Papers 3630, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Torbjørn Hægeland & Lars Johannessen Kirkebøen & Oddbjørn Raaum & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2010. "Why children of college graduates outperform their schoolmates. A study of cousins and adoptees," Discussion Papers 628, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  20. Kevin Lang & Jay L. Zagorsky, 2001. "Does Growing up with a Parent Absent Really Hurt?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(2), pages 253-273.
  21. Eric Maurin & Sandra McNally, 2008. "Vive la Révolution! Long-Term Educational Returns of 1968 to the Angry Students," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26, pages 1-33.
  22. Datcher-Loury, Linda, 1988. "Effects of Mother's Home Time on Children's Schooling," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 367-73, August.
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