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How important is family background for labor-economic outcomes?

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  • Björklund, Anders
  • Jäntti, Markus

Abstract

This paper uses Swedish register data to examine four classical outcomes in empirical labor economics: IQ, noncognitive skills, years of schooling and long-run earnings. We estimate sibling correlations – and the variance components that define the sibling correlation – in these outcomes. We also estimate correlations for MZ-twins, who share all genes. We also extend the variance-component decomposition by accounting for birth order. We find that conventional intergenerational approaches severely underestimate the role of family background, and that future research should follow a more multidimensional approach to the study of family background.

Suggested Citation

  • Björklund, Anders & Jäntti, Markus, 2012. "How important is family background for labor-economic outcomes?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 465-474.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:19:y:2012:i:4:p:465-474
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2012.05.016
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Eriksson, Tor & Pan, Jay & Qin, Xuezheng, 2014. "The intergenerational inequality of health in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 392-409.
    2. Timothy J. Halliday & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2017. "An Analysis of Sibling Correlations in Health using Latent Variable Models," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(12), pages 108-125, December.
    3. Kässi, Otto, 2012. "Uncertainty and Heterogeneity in Returns to Education: Evidence from Finland," MPRA Paper 43503, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Kieron Barclay & Torkild Lyngstad & Dalton Conley, 2018. "The Production of Inequalities within Families and Across Generations: The Intergenerational Effects of Birth Order and Family Size on Educational Attainment," NBER Working Papers 24530, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Timothy Halliday & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2014. "A Bayesian Analysis of Sibling Correlations in Health," Working Papers 201426, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    6. Anger, Silke & Schnitzlein, Daniel D., 2013. "Like Brother, Like Sister? The Importance of Family Background for Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80052, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. repec:eee:jhecon:v:54:y:2017:i:c:p:1-16 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Bertoni, Marco & Brunello, Giorgio, 2013. "Laterborns Don't Give Up: The Effects of Birth Order on Earnings in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 7679, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Maczulskij, Terhi, 2013. "Public–private sector wage differentials and the business cycle," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 284-301.
    10. Kieron J. Barclay & Torkild Lyngstad & Dalton Conley, 2018. "The production of inequalities within families and across generations: the intergenerational effects of birth order and family size on educational attainment," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2018-002, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.

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