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Early, Late or Never? When Does Parental Education Impact Child Outcomes?

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  • Matt Dickson
  • Paul Gregg
  • Harriet Robinson

Abstract

We estimate the causal effect of parents' education on their children's education and examine the timing of the impact. We identify the causal effect by exploiting the exogenous shift in (parents’) education levels induced by the 1972 minimum school leaving age reform in England. Increasing parental education has a positive causal effect on children's outcomes that is evident in preschool assessments at age 4 and continues to be visible up to and including high†stakes examinations taken at age 16. Children of parents affected by the reform attain results around 0.1 standard deviations higher than those whose parents were not impacted.

Suggested Citation

  • Matt Dickson & Paul Gregg & Harriet Robinson, 2016. "Early, Late or Never? When Does Parental Education Impact Child Outcomes?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(596), pages 184-231, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:econjl:v:126:y:2016:i:596:p:f184-f231
    DOI: 10.1111/ecoj.12356
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    1. Arnaud Chevalier & Colm Harmon & Vincent O’ Sullivan & Ian Walker, 2013. "The impact of parental income and education on the schooling of their children," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-22, December.
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    1. Arnaud Chevalier & Colm Harmon & Vincent O’ Sullivan & Ian Walker, 2013. "The impact of parental income and education on the schooling of their children," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-22, December.
    2. Gabriella Conti & James J. Heckman & Rodrigo Pinto, 2016. "The Effects of Two Influential Early Childhood Interventions on Health and Healthy Behaviour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(596), pages 28-65, October.
    3. Clifton-Sprigg, Joanna, 2015. "Educational spillovers and parental migration," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 64-75.
    4. Mathias Huebener, 2017. "Intergenerational Effects of Education on Risky Health Behaviours and Long-Term Health," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1709, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Clifton-Sprigg, Joanna, 2014. "Educational spillovers and parental migration," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 2015-46, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    6. Lindsey Macmillan & Emma Tominey, 2019. "Parental Inputs and Socio-economic Gaps in Early Child Development," Working Papers 2019-065, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    7. Emilia Del Bono & Marco Francesconi & Yvonne Kelly & Amanda Sacker, 2016. "Early Maternal Time Investment and Early Child Outcomes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(596), pages 96-135, October.
    8. Hasan,Amer & Nakajima,Nozomi & Rangel,Marcos A., 2020. "Mama Knows (and Does) Best : Maternal Schooling Opportunities and Child Development in Indonesia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9355, The World Bank.
    9. Burgess, Simon, 2016. "Human Capital and Education: The State of the Art in the Economics of Education," IZA Discussion Papers 9885, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Jiang, Hanchen & Yang, Xi, 2019. "Parental Migration, Investment in Children, and Children's Non-cognitive Development: Evidence from Rural China," GLO Discussion Paper Series 395, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    11. Thendo M Ratshivhanda & Sevias Guvuriro, 2018. "An Inter-Generational Effect of Socio-Economic Status on Education Attainment in South Africa," Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies, AMH International, vol. 10(4), pages 252-261.
    12. Pufall, Erica & Eaton, Jeffrey W. & Nyamukapa, Constance & Schur, Nadine & Takaruza, Albert & Gregson, Simon, 2016. "The relationship between parental education and children’s schooling in a time of economic turmoil: The case of East Zimbabwe, 2001 to 2011," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 125-134.
    13. repec:spr:laecrv:v:24:y:2015:i:1:p:1-44 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Marco Francesconi & James J. Heckman, 2016. "Child Development and Parental Investment: Introduction," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(596), pages 1-27, October.
    15. Kevin Ralston, 2020. "‘Sociologists Shouldn’t Have to Study Statistics’: Epistemology and Anxiety of Statistics in Sociology Students," Sociological Research Online, , vol. 25(2), pages 219-235, June.
    16. Samantha B. Rawlings, 2015. "Parental education and child health: Evidence from an education reform in China," CINCH Working Paper Series 1511, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen, Competent in Competition and Health, revised Aug 2015.
    17. John Jerrim, 2014. "The link between family background and later lifetime income: how does the UK compare to other countries?," DoQSS Working Papers 14-02, Quantitative Social Science - UCL Social Research Institute, University College London.
    18. Nobuyoshi Kikuchi, 2017. "Intergenerational Transmission of Education in Japan: Nonparametric Bounds Analysis with Multiple Treatments," ISER Discussion Paper 1011, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
    19. Lara Ibarra,Gabriel & Martinez Cruz,Adan L., 2015. "Exploring the sources of downward bias in measuring inequality of opportunity," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7458, The World Bank.
    20. Florian Wendelspiess Chávez Juárez, 2015. "Intergenerational transmission of education: the relative importance of transmission channels," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 24(1), pages 1-44, December.
    21. Thang Dang, 2018. "Do the more educated utilize more health care services? Evidence from Vietnam using a regression discontinuity design," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 277-299, September.
    22. Zotti, Roberto, 2020. "Parental Education and Sons’ Earnings: A “Beyond the Mean†Approach along the Sons’ Earnings Distributions," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis. Working Papers 202013, University of Turin.
    23. Gabriella Conti & James J. Heckman & Rodrigo Pinto, 2016. "The Effects of Two Influential Early Childhood Interventions on Health and Healthy Behaviour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(596), pages 28-65, October.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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