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Intergenerational transmission of human capital: Is it a one-way street?

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  • Lundborg, Petter
  • Majlesi, Kaveh

Abstract

Studies on the intergenerational transmission of human capital usually assume a one-way spillover from parents to children. However, children may also affect their parents’ human capital. Using exogenous variation in education, arising from a Swedish compulsory schooling reform in the 1950s and 1960s, we address this question by studying the causal effect of children's schooling on their parents’ longevity. We first replicate previous findings of a positive and significant cross-sectional relationship between children's education and their parents’ longevity. Our instrumental variables estimates are not statistically different from zero. However, they hide substantial heterogeneity by the gender of the child and the parent; female schooling is found to affect longevity of fathers and especially those from low socio-economic background. Taken together, our results point to the importance of daughters’ schooling for parental health and to the importance of considering heterogeneous impacts.

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  • Lundborg, Petter & Majlesi, Kaveh, 2018. "Intergenerational transmission of human capital: Is it a one-way street?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 206-220.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:57:y:2018:i:c:p:206-220
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2017.12.001
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    4. Yahirun, Jenjira J. & Sheehan, Connor M. & Hayward, Mark D., 2017. "Adult children's education and changes to parents' physical health in Mexico," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 181(C), pages 93-101.
    5. Holmlund, Helena, 2020. "A researcher’s guide to the Swedish compulsory school reform," Working Paper Series 2020:15, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    6. Knüpfer, Samuli & Rantapuska, Elias & Sarvimäki, Matti, 2017. "Social interaction in the family: Evidence from investors’ security holdings," Research Discussion Papers 25/2017, Bank of Finland.
    7. Ning Wei & Lülin Zhou & Wenhao Huang, 2022. "Does an upward intergenerational educational spillover effect exist? The effect of children’s education on Chinese parents’ health," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 69-89, March.
    8. Martin Fischer & Ulf-G Gerdtham & Gawain Heckley & Martin Karlsson & Gustav Kjellsson & Therese Nilsson, 2021. "Education and health: long-run effects of peers, tracking and years," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 36(105), pages 3-49.
    9. Jiang, Nan & Kaushal, Neeraj, 2020. "How children's education affects caregiving: Evidence from parent’s last years of life," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 38(C).
    10. Artmann, Elisabeth & Oosterbeek, Hessel & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2019. "Do doctors improve the health care of their parents? Evidence from admission lotteries," CEPR Discussion Papers 14061, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. De Neve, Jan-Walter & Fink, Günther, 2018. "Children’s education and parental old age survival – Quasi-experimental evidence on the intergenerational effects of human capital investment," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 76-89.
    12. Everding, Jakob, 2019. "Heterogeneous spillover effects of children's education on parental mental health," hche Research Papers 2019/18, University of Hamburg, Hamburg Center for Health Economics (hche).
    13. Hofmarcher, Thomas, 2021. "The effect of education on poverty: A European perspective," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 83(C).
    14. Cui, Ying & Liu, Hong & Zhao, Liqiu, 2021. "Protective effect of adult children's education on parental survival in China: Gender differences and underlying mechanisms," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 277(C).
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    16. Ma, Mingming, 2019. "Does children's education matter for parents’ health and cognition? Evidence from China," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 222-240.
    17. Yiqun Chen & Petra Persson & Maria Polyakova, 2019. "The Roots of Health Inequality and The Value of Intra-Family Expertise," NBER Working Papers 25618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    20. Li, Yaoyue & Wang, Guixin & Li, Guofeng, 2021. "Educational attainment of offspring and obesity among older adults in China," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 286(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational transmission; Education; Mortality; Health; Mobility;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • J14 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of the Elderly; Economics of the Handicapped; Non-Labor Market Discrimination

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