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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 - Leibniz 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
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ifowps:_107
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  1. Paul J. Devereux & Sandra E. Black & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2003. "Why the apple doesn't fall far : understanding intergenerational transmission of human capital," Open Access publications 10197/750, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  2. Gert G. Wagner & Joachim R. Frick & Jürgen Schupp, 2007. "The German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP) – Scope, Evolution and Enhancements," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 139-169.
  3. Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Till von Wachter, 2008. "Zero Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Germany: Evidence and Interpretation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 592-598, August.
  4. Susanne Schennach & James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," 2007 Meeting Papers 973, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Eric Maurin & Sandra Mcnally, 2008. "Vive la Révolution ! Long Term Returns of 1968 to the Angry Students," Post-Print halshs-00754313, HAL.
  6. 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.
  7. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2005. "New Evidence on the Causal Link Between the Quantity and Quality of Children," NBER Working Papers 11835, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Björklund, Anders & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2011. "Education and Family Background: Mechanisms and Policies," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  9. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2004. "Educational reform, ability and family background," IFS Working Papers W04/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. 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.
  11. Tom Hertz & Tamara Jayasundera & Patrizio Piraino & Sibel Selcuk & Nicole Smith & Alina Verashchagina, 2007. "The Inheritance of Educational Inequality: International Comparisons and Fifty-Year Trends," Working Papers 2007-013, American University, Department of Economics.
  12. Guido Heineck & Regina T. Riphahn, 2009. "Intergenerational Transmission of Educational Attainment in Germany - The Last Five Decades," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 229(1), pages 36-60, February.
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  14. Helena Holmlund & Mikael Lindahl & Erik Plug, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Parents' Schooling on Children's Schooling: A Comparison of Estimation Methods," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 615-51, September.
  15. 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.
  16. Arnaud Chevalier, 2004. "Parental education and child’s education : a natural experiment," Working Papers 200414, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  17. Arnaud Chevalier & Colm Harmon & Vincent O'Sullivan & Ian Walker, 2005. "The Impact of Parental Income and Education on the Schooling of their Children," Studies in Economics 0504, School of Economics, University of Kent.
  18. Hendrik Jürges & Kerstin Schneider, 2007. "What Can Go Wrong Will Go Wrong: Birthday Effects and Early Tracking in the German School System," CESifo Working Paper Series 2055, CESifo Group Munich.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
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  23. 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.
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  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
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