IQ and Family Background: Are Associations Strong or Weak?
AbstractFor the purpose of understanding the underlying mechanisms behind intergenerational associations in income and education, recent studies have explored the intergenerational transmission of abilities. We use a large representative sample of Swedish men to examine both intergenerational and sibling correlations in IQ. Since siblings share both parental factors and neighbourhood influences, the sibling correlation is a broader measure of the importance of family background than the intergenerational correlation. We use IQ data from the Swedish military enlistment tests. The correlation in IQ between fathers (born 1951-1956) and sons (born 1966-1980) is estimated to 0.347. The corresponding estimate for brothers (born 1951-1968) is 0.473, suggesting that family background explains approximately 50% of a person's IQ. Estimating sibling correlations in IQ we thus find that family background has a substantially larger impact on IQ than has been indicated by previous studies examining only intergenerational correlations in IQ.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4305.
Length: 12 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy: Contributions to Economic Analysis and Policy, 2010, 10 (1), Article 2
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Other versions of this item:
- Björklund Anders & Hederos Eriksson Karin & Jäntti Markus, 2010. "IQ and Family Background: Are Associations Strong or Weak?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-14, January.
- J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
- I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General
- J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
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