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The role of paternal risk attitudes in long-run education outcomes and intergenerational mobility

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  • Mathias Huebener

    () (DIW Berlin, Department of Education and Family)

Abstract

This paper studies the role of paternal risk attitudes in sons’ long-run education outcomes and in the intergenerational transmission of incomes and education. Based on 1984–2012 German Socio-Economic Panel Study data of sons and fathers, I show that fathers’ risk aversion is inversely related to sons’ long-run levels of education. I find signs that sons with risk averse fathers experience lower educational mobility and considerably lower income mobility than their peers with risk taking fathers, though these differences can only be measured with large standard errors. The direct link between paternal risk attitudes and offspring’s education outcomes can provide a novel explanation for the mechanism underlying the intergenerational persistence of economic statuses. It can further challenge the traditional view of own risk attitudes in the human capital investment theory and suggests that parental risk attitudes should be incorporated.

Suggested Citation

  • Mathias Huebener, 2015. "The role of paternal risk attitudes in long-run education outcomes and intergenerational mobility," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0114, University of Zurich, Department of Business Administration (IBW).
  • Handle: RePEc:iso:educat:0114
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    Keywords

    Education decision; Human capital; Risk attitudes; Educational mobility;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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