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Following in Your Parents' Footsteps? Empirical Analysis of Matched Parent-Offspring Test Scores

  • Brown, Sarah


    (University of Sheffield)

  • McIntosh, Steven


    (University of Sheffield)

  • Taylor, Karl


    (University of Sheffield)

In this paper, we explore whether an intergenerational relationship exists between the reading and mathematics test scores, taken at age 7, of a cohort of individuals born in 1958 and the equivalent test scores of their offspring measured in 1991. Our results suggest that how the parent performs in reading and mathematics during their childhood is positively related to the corresponding test scores of their offspring as measured at a similar age. The results further suggest that the effect of upbringing is mainly responsible for the inter-generational relationship in literacy, while genetic effects seem more relevant with respect to numeracy.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 3986.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, 2010, 73 (1), 40-58
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3986
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  1. Arnaud Chevalier, 2004. "Parental education and child’s education : a natural experiment," Working Papers 200414, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  2. Arnaud Chevalier & Kevin Denny & Dorren McMahon, 2003. "A multi-country study of inter-generational educational mobility," Working Papers 200314, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  3. Fernando Galindo-Rueda & Anna Vignoles, 2005. "The Heterogeneous Effect of Selection in Secondary Schools: Understanding the Changing Role of Ability," CEE Discussion Papers 0052, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  4. Steven McIntosh & Anna Vignoles, 2000. "Measuring and assessing the impact of basic skills on labour market outcomes," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19557, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Sandra Black & Paul Devereux & Kjell Salvanes, 2004. "Why the apple doesn't fall far: understanding intergenerational transmission of human capital," Working Paper Series 2004-12, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  6. Ermisch, John F & Francesconi, Marco, 1997. "Family Matters," CEPR Discussion Papers 1591, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg, 2004. "Family Income and Educational Attainment: A Review of Approaches and Evidence for Britain," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 04/101, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  8. Philip Oreopoulos & Marianne E. Page, 2006. "The Intergenerational Effects of Compulsory Schooling," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 729-760, October.
  9. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2005. "Does Increasing Women's Schooling Raise the Schooling of the Next Generation? Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1745-1751, December.
  10. Hakkinen, Iida & Kirjavainen, Tanja & Uusitalo, Roope, 2003. "School resources and student achievement revisited: new evidence from panel data," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 329-335, June.
  11. Orley Ashenfelter & Colm Harmon & Hessel Oosterbeek, 1999. "A Review of Estimates of the Schooling/Earnings Relationship, with Tests for Publication Bias," Working Papers 804, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  12. 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.
  13. Machin, Stephen & McNally, Sandra, 2008. "The literacy hour," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1441-1462, June.
  14. 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.
  15. Murnane, Richard J & Willett, John B & Levy, Frank, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 251-66, May.
  16. Belzil, Christian & Hansen, Jörgen, 2003. "Structural Estimates of the Intergenerational Education Correlation," IZA Discussion Papers 973, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Christian Dustmann, 2004. "Parental background, secondary school track choice, and wages," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 209-230, April.
  18. Anders Björklund & Mikael Lindahl & Erik Plug, 2006. "The Origins of Intergenerational Associations: Lessons from Swedish Adoption Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 999-1028, 08.
  19. Brown, Sarah & Taylor, Karl, 2008. "Bullying, education and earnings: Evidence from the National Child Development Study," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 387-401, August.
  20. Susanne James-Burdumy, 2005. "The Effect of Maternal Labor Force Participation on Child Development," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(1), pages 177-211, January.
  21. 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.
  22. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
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