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Does Quality Time Produce Quality Children? Evidence on the Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital Using Parental Deaths

  • Gould, Eric D.

    ()

    (Hebrew University, Jerusalem)

  • Simhon, Avi

    ()

    (Hebrew University, Jerusalem)

This paper uses variation created by parental deaths in the amount of time children spend with each parent to examine whether the parent-child correlation in schooling outcomes stems from a causal relationship. Using a large sample of Israeli children who lost one parent during childhood, we find a series of striking patterns which show that the relationship is largely causal. Relative to children who did not lose a parent, the education of the deceased parent is less important in determining child outcomes, while the education of the surviving parent becomes a stronger factor. Moreover, within the group of families that lost a parent, this pattern intensifies when a child loses a parent earlier in life – the education of the deceased parent becomes even less important, while the effect of the surviving parent's schooling intensifies. These results provide strong evidence that there is a causal connection between parent and child schooling, which is dependent on the child's interaction time with each parent. These findings help us understand why educated parents typically spend more time with their children – they are more effective in producing human capital in their children.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5487.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5487
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  5. Eric D. Gould & Victor Lavy & M. Daniele Paserman, 2009. "Sixty Years after the Magic Carpet Ride: The Long-Run Effect of the Early Childhood Environment on Social and Economic Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 14884, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Helena Holmlund & Mikael Lindahl & Erik Plug, 2010. "The Causal Effect of Parents' Schooling on Children's Schooling - A Comparison of Estimation Methods," CESifo Working Paper Series 3234, CESifo Group Munich.
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  14. Stacey H. Chen & Yen-Chien Chen & Jin-Tan Liu, 2009. "The Impact of Unexpected Maternal Death on Education: First Evidence from Three National Administrative Data Links," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 149-53, May.
  15. Kevin Lang & Jay L. Zagorsky, 2001. "Does Growing up with a Parent Absent Really Hurt?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(2), pages 253-273.
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