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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.

    ()
    (Hebrew University, Jerusalem)

  • Simhon, Avi

    ()
    (Hebrew University, Jerusalem)

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5487.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2011
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Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5487

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Keywords: intergenerational mobility; education;

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  1. 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, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 358-368, March.
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  8. Helena Holmlund & Mikael Lindahl & Erik Plug, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Parents' Schooling on Children's Schooling: A Comparison of Estimation Methods," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 615-51, September.
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  11. Haegeland, Torbjørn & Kirkeboen, Lars & Raaum, Oddbjørn & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2010. "Why Children of College Graduates Outperform their Schoolmates: A Study of Cousins and Adoptees," IZA Discussion Papers 5369, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  14. Adda, Jérôme & Björklund, Anders & Holmlund, Helena, 2011. "The Role of Mothers and Fathers in Providing Skills: Evidence from Parental Deaths," IZA Discussion Papers 5425, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  16. Jörgen Hansen & Christian Belzil, 2010. "Structural Estimates of the Intergenerational Education Correlation," Working Papers id:2892, eSocialSciences.
  17. 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).
  18. 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.
  19. Stacey H. Chen & Yen-Chien Chen & Jin-Tan Liu, 2009. "The Impact of Unexpected Maternal Death on Education: First Evidence from Three National Administrative Data Links," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 149-53, May.
  20. 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, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE 0050, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  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, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26, pages 1-33.
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