IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/7949.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Nature and Nurture of Economic Outcomes

Author

Listed:
  • Bruce Sacerdote

Abstract

This paper uses data on adopted children to examine the relative importance of biology and environment in determining educational and labor market outcomes. I employ three long-term panel data sets which contain information on adopted children, their adoptive parents, and their biological parents. In at least two of the three data sets, the mechanism for assigning children to adoptive parents is fairly random and does not match children to adoptive parents based on health, race, or ability. I find that adoptive parents' education and income have a modest impact on child test scores but a large impact on college attendance, marital status, and earnings. In contrast with existing work on IQ scores, I do not find that the influence of adoptive parents declines with child age.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce Sacerdote, 2000. "The Nature and Nurture of Economic Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 7949, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7949
    Note: CH LS
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7949.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Griliches, Zvi & Mason, William M, 1972. "Education, Income, and Ability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages 74-103, Part II, .
    2. Erik Plug & Wim Vijverberg, 2003. "Schooling, Family Background, and Adoption: Is It Nature or Is It Nurture?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 611-641, June.
    3. Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "The Nature and Nurture of Economic Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 344-348, May.
    4. Behrman, Jere R & Taubman, Paul, 1989. "Is Schooling "Mostly in the Genes"? Nature-N urture Decomposition Using Data on Relatives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1425-1446, December.
    5. Orley Ashenfelter & Cecilia Rouse, 1998. "Income, Schooling, and Ability: Evidence from a New Sample of Identical Twins," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 253-284.
    6. Das, Mitali & Sjogren, Tanja, 2002. "The inter-generational link in income mobility: evidence from adoptions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 55-60, March.
    7. Ashenfelter, Orley & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Estimates of the Economic Returns to Schooling from a New Sample of Twins," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1157-1173, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Laurent E. Calvet & Paolo Sodini, 2014. "Twin Picks: Disentangling the Determinants of Risk-Taking in Household Portfolios," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 69(2), pages 867-906, April.
    2. Hyytinen, Ari & Ilmakunnas, Pekka & Johansson, Edvard & Toivanen, Otto, 2013. "Heritability of Lifetime Income," MPRA Paper 46326, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Helena Holmlund & Mikael Lindahl & Erik Plug, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Parents' Schooling on Children's Schooling: A Comparison of Estimation Methods," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 615-651, September.
    4. Ari Hyytinen & Pekka Ilmakunnas & Edvard Johansson & Otto Toivanen, 2019. "Heritability of lifetime earnings," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 17(3), pages 319-335, September.
    5. Henrik Cronqvist & Florian Münkel & Stephan Siegel, 2014. "Genetics, Homeownership, and Home Location Choice," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 79-111, January.
    6. Bruce Sacerdote, 2004. "What Happens When We Randomly Assign Children to Families?," NBER Working Papers 10894, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Shinsuke Asakawa, 2020. "Can Child Benefits Shape Parents' Attitudes toward Childrearing in Japan?: Effects of Child Benefit Policy Expansions," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 19-04-Rev.2, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics.
    8. Zhu, Guozhong & Vural, Gulfer, 2013. "Inter-generational effect of parental time and its policy implications," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(9), pages 1833-1851.
    9. Justin L. Tobias, 2003. "Are Returns to Schooling Concentrated Among the Most Able? A Semiparametric Analysis of the Ability–earnings Relationships," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 65(1), pages 1-29, February.
    10. Adelaide AGYEMAN & Nicholas Nicodamus Nana NSOWAH-NUAMAH, 2015. "Demographic And Socio-Economic Characteristics Of Monozygotic And Dizygotic Twins In The Labour Market," Journal of Social and Economic Statistics, Bucharest University of Economic Studies, vol. 4(2), pages 19-41, DECEMBER.
    11. Hu, Yuan & Behrman, Jere R. & Zhang, Junsen, 2021. "The causal effects of parents’ schooling on children's schooling in urban China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 258-276.
    12. Dong Zhou & Aparajita Dasgupta, 2017. "Understanding the Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital: Evidence from a Quasi-natural Experiment in China," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(2), pages 321-352, May.
    13. Diego Restuccia & Carlos Urrutia, 2004. "Intergenerational Persistence of Earnings: The Role of Early and College Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1354-1378, December.
    14. Petter Lundborg & Martin Nordin & Dan Olof Rooth, 2018. "The intergenerational transmission of human capital: the role of skills and health," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 31(4), pages 1035-1065, October.
    15. Barnea, Amir & Cronqvist, Henrik & Siegel, Stephan, 2010. "Nature or nurture: What determines investor behavior?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(3), pages 583-604, December.
    16. Lundborg, Petter & Stenberg, Anders, 2009. "Nature, Nurture and Egalitarian Policy: What Can We Learn from Molecular Genetics?," IZA Discussion Papers 4585, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    17. Tetsuo Ono, 2016. "Inequality and the politics of redistribution," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(2), pages 191-217, April.
    18. Blackburn, McKinley L., 2004. "The role of test scores in explaining race and gender differences in wages," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 555-576, December.
    19. Regan, Tracy L. & Burghardt, Galen & Oaxaca, Ronald L., 2006. "A Human Capital Model of the Effects of Abilities and Family Background on Optimal Schooling Levels," IZA Discussion Papers 1927, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    20. Lundborg, Petter & Stenberg, Anders, 2010. "Nature, nurture and socioeconomic policy--What can we learn from molecular genetics?," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 320-330, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J0 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7949. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.