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Early, Late or Never? When Does Parental Education Impact Child Outcomes?

Author

Listed:
  • Dickson, Matt

    () (University of Bath)

  • Gregg, Paul

    () (University of Bath)

  • Robinson, Harriet

    () (University of Bristol)

Abstract

We study the intergenerational effects of parents' education on their children's educational outcomes. The endogeneity of parental education is addressed by exploiting the exogenous shift in education levels induced by the 1972 Raising of the School Leaving Age (RoSLA) from age 15 to 16 in England and Wales. Using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children – a rich cohort dataset of children born in the early 1990s in Avon, England – allows us to examine the timing of impacts throughout the child's life, from pre-school assessments through the school years to the final exams at the end of the compulsory schooling period. We also determine whether there are differential effects for literacy and numeracy. We find that increasing parental education has a positive causal effect on children's outcomes that is evident at age 4 and continues to be visible up to and including the high stakes exams taken at age 16. Children of parents affected by the reform gain results approximately 0.1 standard deviations higher than those whose parents were not impacted. The effect is focused on the lower educated parents where we would expect there to be more of an impact: children of these parents gaining results approximately 0.2 standard deviations higher. The effects appear to be broadly equal across numeracy and literacy test scores.

Suggested Citation

  • Dickson, Matt & Gregg, Paul & Robinson, Harriet, 2013. "Early, Late or Never? When Does Parental Education Impact Child Outcomes?," IZA Discussion Papers 7123, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7123
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Arnaud Chevalier & Colm Harmon & Vincent O’ Sullivan & Ian Walker, 2013. "The impact of parental income and education on the schooling of their children," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-22, December.
    2. Pedro Carneiro & Costas Meghir & Matthias Parey, 2013. "Maternal Education, Home Environments, And The Development Of Children And Adolescents," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11, pages 123-160, January.
    3. Arnaud Chevalier & Colm Harmon & Ian Walker & Yu Zhu, 2004. "Does Education Raise Productivity, or Just Reflect it?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(499), pages 499-517, November.
    4. Julien Grenet, 2013. "Is Extending Compulsory Schooling Alone Enough to Raise Earnings? Evidence from French and British Compulsory Schooling Laws," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(1), pages 176-210, January.
    5. Dickson, Matt & Smith, Sarah, 2011. "What determines the return to education: An extra year or a hurdle cleared?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1167-1176.
    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. Ermisch, John & Francesconi, Marco, 2001. "Family Matters: Impacts of Family Background on Educational Attainments," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(270), pages 137-156, May.
    8. 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.
    9. Silles, Mary A., 2011. "The intergenerational effects of parental schooling on the cognitive and non-cognitive development of children," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 258-268, April.
    10. Damon Clark & Heather Royer, 2010. "The Effect of Education on Adult Health and Mortality: Evidence from Britain," NBER Working Papers 16013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Arnaud Chevalier & Colm Harmon & Vincent O’ Sullivan & Ian Walker, 2013. "The impact of parental income and education on the schooling of their children," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-22, December.
    2. Pufall, Erica & Eaton, Jeffrey W. & Nyamukapa, Constance & Schur, Nadine & Takaruza, Albert & Gregson, Simon, 2016. "The relationship between parental education and children’s schooling in a time of economic turmoil: The case of East Zimbabwe, 2001 to 2011," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 125-134.
    3. Burgess, Simon, 2016. "Human Capital and Education: The State of the Art in the Economics of Education," IZA Discussion Papers 9885, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Gabriella Conti & James J. Heckman & Rodrigo Pinto, 2015. "The Effects of Two Influential Early Childhood Interventions on Health and Healthy Behaviors," Working Papers 2015-011, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    5. Clifton-Sprigg, Joanna, 2015. "Educational spillovers and parental migration," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 64-75.
    6. repec:spr:laecrv:v:24:y:2015:i:1:p:1-44 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Samantha B. Rawlings, 2015. "Parental education and child health: Evidence from an education reform in China," CINCH Working Paper Series 1511, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen, Competent in Competition and Health, revised Aug 2015.
    8. John Jerrim, 2014. "The link between family background and later lifetime income: how does the UK compare to other countries?," DoQSS Working Papers 14-02, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    9. Clifton-Sprigg, Joanna, 2014. "Educational spillovers and parental migration," SIRE Discussion Papers 2015-46, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    10. Del Bono, Emilia & Francesconi, Marco & Kelly, Yvonne & Sacker, Amanda, 2014. "Early Maternal Time Investment and Early Child Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 8608, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Lara Ibarra,Gabriel & Martinez Cruz,Adan L., 2015. "Exploring the sources of downward bias in measuring inequality of opportunity," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7458, The World Bank.
    12. Florian Wendelspiess Chávez Juárez, 2015. "Intergenerational transmission of education: the relative importance of transmission channels," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 24(1), pages 1-44, December.
    13. Clifton-Sprigg, Joanna, 2014. "Educational spillovers and parental migration," 2007 Annual Meeting, July 29-August 1, 2007, Portland, Oregon TN 2015-46, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    intergenerational mobility; schooling; child development;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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