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Causal effects of parents' education on children's education

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  • Ermisch, John
  • Pronzato, Chiara

Abstract

The paper shows that parents’ education is an important, but hardly exclusive part of the common family background that generates positive correlation between siblings’ educational attainments. Our estimates based on Norwegian twins indicate that an additional year of either mother’s or father’s education increases their children’s education by as little as one-tenth of a year. There is evidence that father’s education has a larger effect than that of mothers: one explanation is that better educated mothers work more in paid employment and spend less time interacting with their children. We test this hypothesis and find no evidence to support it.

Suggested Citation

  • Ermisch, John & Pronzato, Chiara, 2010. "Causal effects of parents' education on children's education," ISER Working Paper Series 2010-16, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:ese:iserwp:2010-16
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    File URL: https://www.iser.essex.ac.uk/research/publications/working-papers/iser/2010-16.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Anders Björklund & Mikael Lindahl & Erik Plug, 2006. "The Origins of Intergenerational Associations: Lessons from Swedish Adoption Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 999-1028.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Björklund Anders & Hederos Eriksson Karin & Jäntti Markus, 2010. "IQ and Family Background: Are Associations Strong or Weak?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-14, January.
    5. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J. & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2009. "Like father, like son? A note on the intergenerational transmission of IQ scores," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 138-140, October.
    6. 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.
    7. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "Why the Apple Doesn't Fall Far: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 437-449, March.
    8. Anger, Silke & Heineck, Guido, 2010. "Do Smart Parents Raise Smart Children? The Intergenerational Transmission of Cognitive Abilities," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 1105-1132.
    9. Ghazala Naz, 2004. "The impact of cash-benefit reform on parents’ labour force participation," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 17(2), pages 369-383, June.
    10. Chiara Pronzato, 2012. "An examination of paternal and maternal intergenerational transmission of schooling," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(2), pages 591-608, January.
    11. Björklund, Anders & Lindahl, Lena & Lindquist, Matthew J., 2008. "What More Than Parental Income? An Exploration of What Swedish Siblings Get from Their Parents," IZA Discussion Papers 3735, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    Cited by:

    1. Rud, Iryna & Van Klaveren, Chris & Groot, Wim & Maassen van den Brink, Henriëtte, 2014. "The externalities of crime: The effect of criminal involvement of parents on the educational attainment of their children," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 89-103.
    2. Pufall, Erica & Eaton, Jeffrey W. & Nyamukapa, Constance & Schur, Nadine & Takaruza, Albert & Gregson, Simon, 2016. "The relationship between parental education and children’s schooling in a time of economic turmoil: The case of East Zimbabwe, 2001 to 2011," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 125-134.
    3. Amin, Vikesh & Lundborg, Petter & Rooth, Dan-Olof, 2011. "Mothers Do Matter: New Evidence on the Effect of Parents' Schooling on Children's Schooling Using Swedish Twin Data," IZA Discussion Papers 5946, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Zelinsky, Tomas & Mysikova, Martina & Vecernik, Jiri, 2016. "Occupational Mobility, Educational Mobility and Intergenerational Transmission of Disadvantages in Europe," MPRA Paper 76881, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    JEL classification:

    • D0 - Microeconomics - - General

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