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The Intergenerational Effects of Compulsory Schooling

Author

Listed:
  • Ann Huff Stevens
  • Marianne Page
  • Philip Oreopoulos

    (Department of Economics, University of California Davis)

Abstract

The strong correlation between parents? economic status and that of their children hasbeen well-documented, but little is known about the extent to which this is a causal phenomenon.This paper attempts to improve our understanding of the causal processes that contribute tointergenerational immobility by exploiting historical changes in compulsory schooling laws thataffected the educational attainment of parents without affecting their innate abilities orendowments. We examine the influence of parental compulsory schooling on children?s gradefor-age using the 1960, 1970 and 1980 U.S. Censuses. Our estimates indicate that a one-yearincrease in the education of either parent reduces the probability that a child repeats a grade bybetween two to four percentage points. Among 15 to 16 year olds living at home, we alsoestimate that parental compulsory schooling significantly lowers the likelihood of dropping out.These findings suggest that education policies may be able to reduce part of the intergenerationaltransmission of inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Ann Huff Stevens & Marianne Page & Philip Oreopoulos, 2005. "The Intergenerational Effects of Compulsory Schooling," Working Papers 34, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cda:wpaper:34
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Aigner, Dennis J., 1973. "Regression with a binary independent variable subject to errors of observation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 49-59, March.
    2. Philip Oreopoulos, 2003. "Do Dropouts Drop Out Too Soon? International Evidence From Changes in School-Leaving Laws," NBER Working Papers 10155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Jerry Hausman, 2001. "Mismeasured Variables in Econometric Analysis: Problems from the Right and Problems from the Left," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 57-67, Fall.
    4. Philip Oreopoulos & Marianne E. Page & Ann Huff Stevens, 2003. "Does Human Capital Transfer from Parent to Child? The Intergenerational Effects of Compulsory Schooling," NBER Working Papers 10164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2002. "Were Compulsory Attendance and Child Labor Laws Effective? An Analysis from 1915 to 1939," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 401-435, October.
    6. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2002. "Does Increasing Women's Schooling Raise the Schooling of the Next Generation?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 323-334, March.
    7. Colm Harmon; & Ian Walker, 1995. "Estimates of Economic Return to Schooling in the UK," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n540195, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
    8. Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "The Nature and Nurture of Economic Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 344-348, May.
    9. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 155-189, March.
    10. AIGNER, Dennis J., 1973. "Regression with a binary independent variable subject to errors of observation," CORE Discussion Papers RP 130, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    11. Janet Currie & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Mother's Education and the Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital: Evidence from College Openings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1495-1532.
    12. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Keueger, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014.
    13. Currie, Janet & Stabile, Mark, 2006. "Child mental health and human capital accumulation: The case of ADHD," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 1094-1118, November.
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    16. Harmon, Harmon & Ian Walker, 1995. "Estimates of the economic return to schooling for the UK," IFS Working Papers W95/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    17. Enrico Moretti, 2004. "Workers' Education, Spillovers, and Productivity: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 656-690, June.
    18. Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2005. "The Relationship Between Education and Adult Mortality in the United States," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 189-221.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Compulsory Schooling;

    JEL classification:

    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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