Why children of college graduates outperform their schoolmates. A study of cousins and adoptees
AbstractThere is massive cross-sectional evidence that children of more educated parents outperform their schoolmates on tests, grade repetition and in educational attainment. However, evidence for causal interpretation of this association is weak. Within a rich census level data set for Norway, we examine the causal relationship using two approaches for identification: cousins with twin parents and adopted children. In line with most of the literature, we find no effect of mothers’ education on children’s school performance using the children-of-twins approach. However, for adopted children, mother’s education has a positive effect, but only a third of the size of the effect found in biological relationships in adopting families. Carefully tracking the work experience of parents during offspring childhood, we find no support for the hypothesis that the small causal effects of parental education can be explained by detrimental effects of higher labour force participation among more educated mothers.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Research Department of Statistics Norway in its series Discussion Papers with number 628.
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Intergenerational transmission; education; pupil achievement;
Other versions of this item:
- 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).
- I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, and Vacancies - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-09-18 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2010-09-18 (Education)
- NEP-LAB-2010-09-18 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-URE-2010-09-18 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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