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Why educated mothers don't make educated children? A statistical study in the intergenerational transmission of schooling

  • Pronzato, Chiara

More educated parents are observed to have better educated children. From a policy point of view, however, it is important to distinguish between causation and simple selection. Researchers trying to control for unobserved ability have found conflicting results: in most cases, they have found a strong positive paternal effect but a negligible maternal effect. In this paper, I evaluate the impact on the robustness of the estimates of the characteristics of the samples commonly used in this strand of research: samples of small size, with low variability in parental education, not randomly selected from the population.

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Paper provided by Institute for Social and Economic Research in its series ISER Working Paper Series with number 2008-11.

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Date of creation: 14 Mar 2008
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Publication status: published
Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2008-11
Contact details of provider: Postal: Publications Office, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ UK
Phone: 44-1206-872957
Fax: 44-1206-873151
Web page: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/
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  1. 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.
  2. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2003. "Why the apple doesn't fall far: understanding intergenerational transmission of human capital," CeMMAP working papers CWP16/03, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Joseph G. Altonji & Thomas A. Dunn, . "Using Siblings to Estimate the Effect of School Quality on Wages," IPR working papers 96-10, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
  4. David Neumark, 1994. "Biases in Twin Estimates of the Return to Schooling: A Note on Recent Research," NBER Technical Working Papers 0158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. David Neumark & Sanders Korenman, 1994. "Sources of Bias in Women's Wage Equations: Results Using Sibling Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 379-405.
  6. Orley Ashenfelter & David J. Zimmerman, 1993. "Estimates of the Returns to Schooling From Sibling Data: Fathers, Sons and Brothers," NBER Working Papers 4491, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Daniel Aaronson, 1998. "Using Sibling Data to Estimate the Impact of Neighborhoods on Children's Educational Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(4), pages 915-946.
  8. Light Audrey & Flores-Lagunes Alfonso, 2006. "Measurement Error in Schooling: Evidence from Samples of Siblings and Identical Twins," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-35, May.
  9. Jere R. Behrman & Barbara L. Wolfe, 1989. "Does More Schooling Make Women Better Nourished and Healthier? Adult Sibling Random and Fixed Effects Estimates for Nicaragua," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(4), pages 644-663.
  10. Bound, John & Solon, Gary, 1999. "Double trouble: on the value of twins-based estimation of the return to schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 169-182, April.
  11. Alan Krueger & Orley Ashenfelter, 1992. "Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling from a New Sample of Twins," NBER Working Papers 4143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Kate L. Antonovics & Arthur S. Goldberger, 2005. "Does Increasing Women's Schooling Raise the Schooling of the Next Generation? Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1738-1744, December.
  13. John Ermisch & Marco Francesconi, 2000. "Educational Choice, Families, and Young People's Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(1), pages 143-176.
  14. S Black & Paul Devereux & Kjell Salvanes, 2005. "The More the Merrier? The Effect of Family Size and Birth Order on Childrens Education," CEE Discussion Papers 0050, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  15. Erik Plug, 2004. "Estimating the Effect of Mother's Schooling on Children's Schooling Using a Sample of Adoptees," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 358-368, March.
  16. 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).
  17. de Haan, Monique & Plug, Erik, 2006. "Estimates of the Effect of Parents’ Schooling on Children’s Schooling Using Censored and Uncensored Samples," IZA Discussion Papers 2416, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  18. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2005. "Does Increasing Women's Schooling Raise the Schooling of the Next Generation? Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1745-1751, December.
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