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The effect of parents’ education appreciation on intergenerational inequality

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  • Agupusi, Patricia

Abstract

The core question for this study is - how can we explain gaps in educational attainment of families with the same initial socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds? This study draws from human capital theory to examine the likely effect of parental attitudes towards the educational attainment of their children, and the implications for intergenerational educational inequality. I utilized longitudinal historical narratives to explore two families in Nigeria with identical socioeconomic backgrounds. The findings suggest that 1.) The perceptions of, and attitudes towards education by the first parents of each family have a lingering impact on the educational attainment of their first, second and third generation. 2.) Children of parents with high value and appreciation to education recorded higher educational achievement and socioeconomic mobility than did those with a lower appreciation of education. This study concludes that in addition to other socioeconomic factors, parents' perception and value of education is fundamental to children's educational attainment, which also determines socioeconomic mobility. This study contributes to our understanding of intergenerational transmission and socioeconomic mobility. It also has implications for policy framing, as well as substantial scope for methodological improvement.

Suggested Citation

  • Agupusi, Patricia, 2019. "The effect of parents’ education appreciation on intergenerational inequality," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 214-222.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:injoed:v:66:y:2019:i:c:p:214-222
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ijedudev.2018.09.003
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