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The Role of Childhood Health for the Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital: Evidence from Administrative Data

  • Salm, Martin

    ()

    (Tilburg University)

  • Schunk, Daniel

    ()

    (University of Zurich)

We use unique administrative German data to examine the role of childhood health for the intergenerational transmission of human capital. Specifically, we examine the extent to which a comprehensive list of health conditions – diagnosed by government physicians – can account for developmental gaps between the children of college educated parents and those of less educated parents. In total, health conditions explain 18% of the gap in cognitive ability and 65% of that in language ability, based on estimations with sibling fixed effects. Thus, policies aimed at reducing disparities in child achievement should also focus on improving the health of disadvantaged children.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3646.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3646
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