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Educational Attainment and Family Background

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  • Arild Aakvik
  • Kjell G. Salvanes
  • Kjell Vaage

Abstract

This paper analyses the effect of aspects of family background, such as family income and parental education, on the educational attainment of persons born from 1967 to 1972. Family income is measured at different periods of a child's life to separate long-term versus short-term effects of family income on educational choices. We find that permanent income matters to a certain degree, and that family income when the child is 0-6 years old is an important explanatory variable for educational attainment later in a child's life. We find that short-term credit constraints have only a small effect on educational attainment. Long-term factors, such as permanent family income and parental education, are much more important for educational attainment than are short-term credit constraints. Public interventions to alleviate the effects of family background should thus also be targeted at a child's early years, the shaping period for the cognitive and non-cognitive skills important later in life. Copyright Verein für Socialpolitik and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2005.

Suggested Citation

  • Arild Aakvik & Kjell G. Salvanes & Kjell Vaage, 2005. "Educational Attainment and Family Background," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 6(3), pages 377-394, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:6:y:2005:i:3:p:377-394
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aakvik, Arild & Salvanes, Kjell G & Vaage, Kjell, 2003. "Measuring Heterogeneity in the Returns to Education in Norway Using Educational Reforms," CEPR Discussion Papers 4088, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Pedro Carneiro & James J. Heckman, 2002. "The Evidence on Credit Constraints in Post--secondary Schooling," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 705-734, October.
    3. Paul J. Devereux & Sandra E. Black & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2004. "The more the merrier? The effect of family composition on children's education," Open Access publications 10197/735, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    4. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "Why the Apple Doesn't Fall Far: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 437-449, March.
    5. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Raaum, Oddbjørn & Salvanes, Kjell G. & Sørensen, Erik Ø., 2003. "The Impact of a Primary School Reform on Educational Stratification: A Norwegian Study of Neighbour and School Mate Correlations," IZA Discussion Papers 953, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Abdulmumini Baba Alfa & Abdulmumini Baba Alfa & Mohd Zaini Abd Karim, 2016. "Student Enthusiasm as a Key Determinant of their Performance," International Review of Management and Marketing, Econjournals, vol. 6(2), pages 237-245.
    2. Michael Fertig & Marcus Tamm, 2010. "Always Poor or Never Poor and Nothing in Between? Duration of Child Poverty in Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11, pages 150-168, May.
    3. Raaum Oddbjørn & Bratsberg Bernt & Røed Knut & Österbacka Eva & Eriksson Tor & Jäntti Markus & Naylor Robin A, 2008. "Marital Sorting, Household Labor Supply, and Intergenerational Earnings Mobility across Countries," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-49, January.
    4. Monstad, Karin & Propper, Carol & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2011. "Is teenage motherhood contagious? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 12/2011, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    5. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Lance Lochner, 2012. "Early and Late Human Capital Investments, Borrowing Constraints, and the Family," NBER Working Papers 18493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Beraldo, Sergio & Montolio, Daniel & Turati, Gilberto, 2009. "Healthy, educated and wealthy: A primer on the impact of public and private welfare expenditures on economic growth," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 38(6), pages 946-956, December.
    7. Lars Lefgren & Matthew J. Lindquist & David Sims, 2012. "Rich Dad, Smart Dad: Decomposing the Intergenerational Transmission of Income," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(2), pages 268-303.
    8. Ritzen, Jo, 2011. "A renaissance for social mobility and its significance for the bridge towards postsecondary education," MERIT Working Papers 057, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    9. Løken, Katrine V., 2010. "Family income and children's education: Using the Norwegian oil boom as a natural experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 118-129, January.
    10. Maria Humlum, 2011. "Timing of family income, borrowing constraints, and child achievement," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 24(3), pages 979-1004, July.
    11. Martin Ryan & Siobhan McCarthy & Carol Newman, 2007. "Household Characteristics of Higher Education Participants," Working Papers 200702, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    12. Jakobsen, Kristian Thor & Kaarsen, Nicolai & Vasiljeva, Kristine, 2016. "Does reduced cash beneit worsen educational outcomes of refugee children?," MPRA Paper 72008, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D33 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Factor Income Distribution
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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