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Spillover Effects of Maternal Education on Child's Health and Schooling

  • Daniel Kemptner
  • Jan Marcus

This is the first study investigating the causal effect of maternal education on child's health and schooling outcomes in Germany. We apply an instrumental variables approach that has not yet been used in the intergenerational context. For that purpose, we draw on a rich German panel data set (SOEP) containing information about three generations. This allows instrumenting maternal education by the number of her siblings while conditioning on a set of variables describing the grandparents' social status and the area where the mother grew up. Given these variables, the number of siblings generates exogenous variation in the years of education by affecting the household resources available per child. We present evidence for strong and significant effects on schooling outcomes for both sexes. And, we find substantial effects on health behaviour for adolescent daughters, but not for adolescent sons. We show that possible concerns for the validity of the instrument are unlikely to compromise these results. We also discuss assortative mating and household income as possible channels of causality.

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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) in its series SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research with number 375.

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Length: 36 p.
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwsop:diw_sp375
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  1. 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.
  2. Eric Maurin & Sandra McNally, 2008. "Vive la Révolution! Long-Term Educational Returns of 1968 to the Angry Students," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26, pages 1-33.
  3. Maria L. Loureiro & Anna Sanz-de-Galdeano & Daniela Vuri, 2009. "Smoking Habits: Like Father, Like Son, Like Mother, Like Daughter," CESifo Working Paper Series 2782, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Matthias Nübling & Hanfried H. Andersen & Axel Mühlbacher & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2007. "Computation of Standard Values for Physical and Mental Health Scale Scores Using the SOEP Version of SF12v2," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 127(1), pages 171-182.
  5. Paul J. Devereux & Sandra E. Black & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "The more the merrier? The effect of family size and birth order on children's education," Open Access publications 10197/310, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  6. Lindeboom, Maarten & Llena-Nozal, Ana & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2006. "Parental Education and Child Health: Evidence from a Schooling Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 2516, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Björklund, Anders & Lindahl, Mikael & Plug, Erik, 2005. "The Origins of Intergenerational Associations: Lessons from Swedish Adoption Data," IZA Discussion Papers 1739, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux, 2010. "Recent Developments in Intergenerational Mobility," Working Papers 201025, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  9. Kemptner, Daniel & Jürges, Hendrik & Reinhold, Steffen, 2010. "Changes in Compulsory Schooling and the Causal Effect of Education on Health: Evidence from Germany," MEA discussion paper series 10200, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  10. 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.
  11. Steffen Reinhold & Hendrik Jürges, 2009. "Secondary School Fees and the Causal Effect of Schooling on Health Behavior," MEA discussion paper series 09181, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
  12. Michael Gebel & Friedhelm Pfeiffer, 2010. "Educational Expansion and Its Heterogeneous Returns for Wage Workers," Schmollers Jahrbuch : Journal of Applied Social Science Studies / Zeitschrift für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin, vol. 130(1), pages 19-42.
  13. Jürges, Hendrik & Reinhold, Steffen & Salm, Martin, 2011. "Does schooling affect health behavior? Evidence from the educational expansion in Western Germany," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 862-872, October.
  14. Guido Heineck & Regina T. Riphahn, 2007. "Intergenerational Transmission of Educational Attainment in Germany: The Last Five Decades," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 37, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  15. 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.
  16. Ann Huff Stevens & Marianne Page & Philip Oreopoulos, 2005. "The Intergenerational Effects of Compulsory Schooling," Working Papers 519, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  17. Justin McCrary & Heather Royer, 2006. "The Effect of Female Education on Fertility and Infant Health: Evidence from School Entry Policies Using Exact Date of Birth," NBER Working Papers 12329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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).
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