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Intergenerational Transmission of Education and Mediating Channels: Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Reforms in Germany

  • Marc Piopiunik


This paper estimates the causal effect of an additional year of parents’ schooling on theirchildren’s education, exploiting compulsory schooling reforms that were implemented inall West German states between 1946 and 1969. Although previous research indicatesthat these reforms had no effects on earnings or political behaviour, I find that an additionalyear of schooling women strongly affects their sons’ education. Based on severaldatasets, numerous channels that might mediate the positive impact of mothers’ educationare investigated. Most importantly, individuals with more schooling value children’seducational success as more important.

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Paper provided by Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich in its series Ifo Working Paper Series with number Ifo Working Paper No. 107.

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Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ifowps:_107
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  1. Angrist, Joshua & Lavy, Victor & Schlosser, Analia, 2006. "New Evidence on the Causal Link between the Quantity and Quality of Children," CEPR Discussion Papers 5668, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2002. "Maintenance of and Innovation in Long-Term Panel Studies: The Case of the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP)," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 276, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  3. Hendrik Jürges & Kerstin Schneider, 2007. "What can go wrong will go wrong: Birthday effects and early tracking in the German school system," MEA discussion paper series 07138, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  4. Helena Holmlund & Mikael Lindahl & Erik Plug, 2010. "The Causal Effect of Parents' Schooling on Children's Schooling - A Comparison of Estimation Methods," CESifo Working Paper Series 3234, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Carneiro, Pedro & Meghir, Costas & Parey, Matthias, 2007. "Maternal Education, Home Environments and the Development of Children and Adolescents," CEPR Discussion Papers 6505, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Colm Harmon & Hessel Oosterbeek & Ian Walker, 2003. "The Returns to Education: Microeconomics," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(2), pages 115-156, 04.
  7. Björklund, Anders & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2010. "Education and family background: Mechanisms and policies," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 14/2010, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics.
  8. Chevalier, Arnaud & Harmon, Colm P. & O'Sullivan, Vincent & Walker, Ian, 2005. "The Impact of Parental Income and Education on the Schooling of Their Children," IZA Discussion Papers 1496, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP): Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  10. Francesco Cinnirella & Marc Piopiunik & Joachim Winter, 2010. "Why Does Height Matter for Educational Attainment? Evidence from German Pre-Teen Children," CESifo Working Paper Series 2983, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J. & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2003. "Why the Apple Doesn't Fall Far: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," IZA Discussion Papers 926, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Arnaud Chevalier, 2004. "Parental Education And Child's Education: A Natural Experiment," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 42, Royal Economic Society.
  13. Flavio Cunha & James Heckman & Susanne Schennach, 2010. "Estimating the technology of cognitive and noncognitive skill formation," CeMMAP working papers CWP09/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  14. Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Till von Wachter, 2006. "Zero Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Germany: Evidence and Interpretation," CEE Discussion Papers 0054, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  15. Guido Heineck & Regina T. Riphahn, 2007. "Intergenerational Transmission of Educational Attainment in Germany: The Last Five Decades," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 738, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  16. Maurin, Eric & McNally, Sandra, 2005. "Vive la Révolution! Long Term Returns of 1968 to the Angry Students," IZA Discussion Papers 1504, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Costas Meghir & MÃ¥rten Palme, 2004. "Educational reform, ability and family background," IFS Working Papers W04/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  18. Jonathan Guryan & Erik Hurst & Melissa Kearney, 2008. "Parental Education and Parental Time with Children," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 23-46, Summer.
  19. Hertz Tom & Jayasundera Tamara & Piraino Patrizio & Selcuk Sibel & Smith Nicole & Verashchagina Alina, 2008. "The Inheritance of Educational Inequality: International Comparisons and Fifty-Year Trends," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-48, January.
  20. Milligan, Kevin & Moretti, Enrico & Oreopoulos, Philip, 2004. "Does education improve citizenship? Evidence from the United States and the United Kingdom," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1667-1695, August.
  21. Monique De Haan & Erik Plug, 2011. "Estimating intergenerational schooling mobility on censored samples: consequences and remedies," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(1), pages 151-166, January/F.
  22. repec:lan:wpaper:2156 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Philip Oreopoulos & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2011. "Priceless: The Nonpecuniary Benefits of Schooling," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 25(1), pages 159-84, Winter.
  24. repec:lan:wpaper:2410 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. repec:lan:wpaper:2272 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. Thomas Siedler, 2010. "Schooling and Citizenship in a Young Democracy: Evidence from Postwar Germany," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 112(2), pages 315-338, 06.
  27. Andrea Ichino & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2004. "The Long-Run Educational Cost of World War II," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(1), pages 57-86, January.
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