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Does Increasing Parents' Schooling Raise the Schooling of the Next Generation? Evidence Based on Conditional Second Moments


  • Farré, Lídia

    () (University of Barcelona)

  • Klein, Roger

    () (Rutgers University)

  • Vella, Francis

    () (Georgetown University)


This paper investigates the degree of intergenerational transmission of education for individuals from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979. Rather than identifying the causal effect of parental education via instrumental variables we exploit the feature of the transmission mechanism responsible for its endogeneity. More explicitly, we assume the intergenerational transfer of unobserved ability is invariant to the economic environment. This, combined with the heteroskedasticity resulting from the interaction of unobserved ability with socioeconomic factors, identifies this causal effect. We conclude the observed intergenerational educational correlation reflects both a causal parental educational effect and a transfer of unobserved ability.

Suggested Citation

  • Farré, Lídia & Klein, Roger & Vella, Francis, 2009. "Does Increasing Parents' Schooling Raise the Schooling of the Next Generation? Evidence Based on Conditional Second Moments," IZA Discussion Papers 3967, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3967

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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. Lídia Farré & Francis Vella, 2013. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Gender Role Attitudes and its Implications for Female Labour Force Participation," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 80(318), pages 219-247, April.
    3. 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.
    4. Neal, Derek, 2006. "Why Has Black-White Skill Convergence Stopped?," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    5. Raquel Fernandez, 2007. "Women, Work, and Culture," NBER Working Papers 12888, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. 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.
    7. Arnaud Chevalier, 2004. "Parental Education and Childs Education: A Natural Experiment," CEE Discussion Papers 0040, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    8. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
    9. 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.
    10. Fernández, Raquel, 2007. "Women, Work and Culture," CEPR Discussion Papers 6153, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Bruce Sacerdote, 2004. "What Happens When We Randomly Assign Children to Families?," NBER Working Papers 10894, 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. Raquel Fernández, 2007. "Alfred Marshall Lecture Women, Work, and Culture," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 305-332, 04-05.
    14. Kane, Thomas J, 1994. "College Entry by Blacks since 1970: The Role of College Costs, Family Background, and the Returns to Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 878-911, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. José M. Jiménez Gómez & María del Carmen Marco Gil & Pedro Gadea Blanco, 2010. "Some game-theoretic grounds for meeting people half-way," Working Papers. Serie AD 2010-04, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    2. Meng, Xin & Zhao, Guochang, 2016. "The Long Shadow of the Chinese Cultural Revolution: The Intergenerational Transmission of Education," IZA Discussion Papers 10460, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Berg, Claudia & Emran, M. Shahe & Shilpi, Forhad, 2013. "Microfinance and moneylenders : long-run effects of MFIs on informal credit market in Bangladesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6619, The World Bank.
    4. repec:spr:intemj:v:13:y:2017:i:2:d:10.1007_s11365-016-0409-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. repec:kap:reveho:v:15:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11150-015-9287-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Nazim Habibov & Elvin Afandi & Alex Cheung, 2017. "What is the effect of university education on chances to be self-employed in transitional countries?: Instrumental variable analysis of cross-sectional sample of 29 nations," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 487-500, June.
    7. Cardak, Buly A. & Johnston, David W. & Martin, Vance L., 2013. "Intergenerational earnings mobility: A new decomposition of investment and endowment effects," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 39-47.

    More about this item


    conditional correlation; endogeneity; intergenerational mobility;

    JEL classification:

    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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