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Why educated mothers don't make educated children: A statistical study in the intergenerational transmission of schooling

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  • Chiara Pronzato

Abstract

More educated parents are observed to have better educated children. Researchers trying to control for unobserved ability have found conflicting results: in most cases, they have found a strong positive paternal effect but a negligible maternal effect. In this paper, I use a population of twins from Norwegian Register data and evaluate the impact on the robustness of the estimates of the characteristics of the samples commonly used in this strand of research: samples of small size, with low variability in parental education, not randomly selected from the population. The part of the educational distribution involved in any identification strategy seems to be the key aspect to take into account to reconcile previous results from the literature.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.dondena.unibocconi.it/WorkingPapers/Dondena_WP005.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi in its series Working Papers with number 005.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:don:donwpa:005

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Keywords: intergenerational transmission; education; twin-estimator; sibling-estimator; power of the test;

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References

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  1. de Haan, Monique & Plug, Erik, 2006. "Estimates of the Effect of Parents’ Schooling on Children’s Schooling Using Censored and Uncensored Samples," IZA Discussion Papers 2416, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Daniel Aaronson, 1998. "Using Sibling Data to Estimate the Impact of Neighborhoods on Children's Educational Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(4), pages 915-946.
  3. Orley Ashenfelter & Alan Krueger, 1992. "Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling from a New Sample of Twins," Working Papers 683, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  4. Sandra Black & Paul Devereux & Kjell Salvanes, 2004. "Why the apple doesn't fall far: understanding intergenerational transmission of human capital," Working Paper Series 2004-12, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  5. David Neumark & Sanders Korenman, 1994. "Sources of Bias in Women's Wage Equations: Results Using Sibling Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 379-405.
  6. John Ermisch & Marco Francesconi, 2000. "Educational Choice, Families, and Young People's Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(1), pages 143-176.
  7. Joseph G. Altonji & Thomas A. Dunn, . "Using Siblings to Estimate the Effect of School Quality on Wages," IPR working papers 96-10, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
  8. Light Audrey & Flores-Lagunes Alfonso, 2006. "Measurement Error in Schooling: Evidence from Samples of Siblings and Identical Twins," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-35, May.
  9. John Bound & Gary Solon, 1998. "Double Trouble: On the Value of Twins-Based Estimation of the Return to Schooling," NBER Working Papers 6721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Orley Ashenfelter & David J. Zimmerman, 1997. "Estimates Of The Returns To Schooling From Sibling Data: Fathers, Sons, And Brothers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(1), pages 1-9, February.
  11. Björklund, Anders & Lindahl, Mikael & Plug, Erik, 2005. "The Origins of Intergenerational Associations: Lessons from Swedish Adoption Data," IZA Discussion Papers 1739, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Kate L. Antonovics & Arthur S. Goldberger, 2005. "Does Increasing Women's Schooling Raise the Schooling of the Next Generation? Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1738-1744, December.
  13. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2005. "Does Increasing Women's Schooling Raise the Schooling of the Next Generation? Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1745-1751, December.
  14. 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.
  15. Jere R. Behrman & Barbara L. Wolfe, 1989. "Does More Schooling Make Women Better Nourished and Healthier? Adult Sibling Random and Fixed Effects Estimates for Nicaragua," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(4), pages 644-663.
  16. S Black & Paul Devereux & Kjell Salvanes, 2005. "The More the Merrier? The Effect of Family Size and Birth Order on Childrens Education," CEE Discussion Papers 0050, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  17. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2002. "Does Increasing Women's Schooling Raise the Schooling of the Next Generation?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 323-334, March.
  18. David Neumark, 1994. "Biases in Twin Estimates of the Return to Schooling: A Note on Recent Research," NBER Technical Working Papers 0158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Canova, Luciano & Vaglio, Alessandro, 2010. "Why do educated mothers matter? A model of parental help," Economics Discussion Papers 2010-29, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  2. Leão Fernandes, Graça & Chagas Lopes, Margarida, 2008. "ISEG Undergraduate Students: Determinants of Academic Performance," MPRA Paper 22082, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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