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The Origins of Intergenerational Associations: Lessons from Swedish Adoption Data

  • Björklund, Anders

    ()

    (SOFI, Stockholm University)

  • Lindahl, Mikael

    ()

    (Uppsala University)

  • Plug, Erik

    ()

    (University of Amsterdam)

We use unique Swedish data to estimate intergenerational associations between adoptees and their biological and adoptive parents. We argue that the impact from biological parents captures broad pre-birth factors, including genes and prenatal environment, and the impact from adoptive parents represents broad post-birth factors, such as childhood environment, for the intergenerational association in education and income. We find that both pre- and post-birth factors contribute to intergenerational transmissions, and that pre-birth factors are more important for mother's education and less important for father's income. We also find some evidence for a positive interaction effect between post-birth environment and pre-birth factors.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1739.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2006, 121 (3), 999-1028
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1739
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  1. Erik Plug & Wim Vijverberg, 2005. "Does Family Income Matter for Schooling Outcomes? Using Adoptees as a Natural Experiment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 879-906, October.
  2. Steven Haider & Gary Solon, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variation in the Association between Current and Lifetime Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1308-1320, September.
  3. Björklund, Anders & Lindahl, Mikael & Plug, Erik, 2004. "Intergenerational Effects in Sweden: What Can We Learn from Adoption Data?," IZA Discussion Papers 1194, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Dimitriy V. Masterov, 2005. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 11331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Bjorklund, Anders & Chadwick, Laura, 2003. "Intergenerational income mobility in permanent and separated families," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 239-246, August.
  6. Case, Anne & Lin, I-Fen & McLanahan, Sara, 2000. "How Hungry Is the Selfish Gene?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(466), pages 781-804, October.
  7. 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.
  8. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
  9. Lindquist, Matthew J. & Böhlmark, Anders, 2005. "Life-Cycle Variations in the Association between Current and Lifetime Income: Country, Cohort and Gender Comparisons," Working Paper Series 4/2005, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  10. Bjorklund, Anders & Jantti, Markus, 1997. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in Sweden Compared to the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1009-18, December.
  11. 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.
  12. Das, Mitali & Sjogren, Tanja, 2002. "The inter-generational link in income mobility: evidence from adoptions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 55-60, March.
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