IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/9360.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Mother's Education and the Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital: Evidence from College Openings and Longitudinal Data

Author

Listed:
  • Janet Currie
  • Enrico Moretti

Abstract

We estimate the effect of maternal education on birth outcomes using data from the Vital Statistics Natality files for 1970 to 1999. We also assess the importance of four potential channels through which maternal education may improve birth outcomes: use of prenatal care, smoking behavior, marriage, and fertility. In an effort to account for unobserved characteristics of women that could induce spurious correlation, we pursue two distinct empirical strategies. First, we construct panel data by linking women in different years of the Vital Statistics records and examine the effects of changes in education on changes in birth outcomes. Second, we have compiled a new data set on openings of two and four year colleges between 1940 and 1990. We use data about the availability of colleges in the woman's county in her 17th year as an instrument for maternal education Our findings using the two approaches are similar. Higher maternal education improves infant health, as measured by birthweight and gestational age. It also increases the probability that a new mother is married, reduces parity, increases use of prenatal care, and reduces smoking, suggesting that these are important pathways for the ultimate effect on health.

Suggested Citation

  • Janet Currie & Enrico Moretti, 2002. "Mother's Education and the Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital: Evidence from College Openings and Longitudinal Data," NBER Working Papers 9360, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9360
    Note: CH LS ED
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w9360.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2001. "Can Falling Supply Explain the Rising Return to College for Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 705-746.
    2. Edward Lazear, 1983. "Intergenerational Externalities," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 16(2), pages 212-228, May.
    3. repec:pri:cheawb:llerasmuney1 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2001. "The Relationship Between Education and Adult Mortality in the U. S," Working Papers 272, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
    5. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 1999. "The Shaping of Higher Education: The Formative Years in the United States, 1890 to 1940," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(1), pages 37-62, Winter.
    6. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2004. "Parental Employment and Child Cognitive Development," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
    7. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 155-189, March.
    8. Welch, Finis, 1979. "Effects of Cohort Size on Earnings: The Baby Boom Babies' Financial Bust," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 65-97, October.
    9. Mark R. Rosenzweig & T. Paul Schultz, 1988. "The Stability of Household Production Technology: A Replication," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(4), pages 535-549.
    10. Duncan Thomas & John Strauss & Maria-Helena Henriques, 1991. "How Does Mother's Education Affect Child Height?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(2), pages 183-211.
    11. Blau, Francine D & Grossberg, Adam J, 1992. "Maternal Labor Supply and Children's Cognitive Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(3), pages 474-481, August.
    12. Finis Welch, 1979. "Effects of Cohort Size on Earnings: The Baby Boom Babies' Financial Bust," UCLA Economics Working Papers 146, UCLA Department of Economics.
    13. Sonalde Desai & Soumya Alva, 1998. "Maternal education and child health: Is there a strong causal relationship?," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 35(1), pages 71-81, February.
    14. Kane, Thomas J & Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 1995. "Labor-Market Returns to Two- and Four-Year College," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 600-614, June.
    15. David Lam, 1988. "Marriage Markets and Assortative Mating with Household Public Goods: Theoretical Results and Empirical Implications," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(4), pages 462-487.
    16. repec:pri:cheawb:llerasmuney1.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Card, David, 2001. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1127-1160, September.
    18. Mark R. Rosenzweig & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1994. "Are There Increasing Returns to the Intergenerational Production of Human Capital? Maternal Schooling and Child Intellectual Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 670-693.
    19. Matthew J. Neidell, 2000. "Early Parental Time Investments In Children's Human Capital Development: Effects Of Time In The First Year On Cognitive And Non-Cognitive Outcomes," UCLA Economics Working Papers 806, UCLA Department of Economics.
    20. Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 1995. "Democratization or Diversion? The Effect of Community Colleges on Educational Attainment," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 217-224, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2007. "The Impact of Length of the School Year on Student Performance and Earnings: Evidence From the German Short School Years," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(523), pages 1216-1242, October.
    2. Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2004. "The Impact of the School Year on Student Performance and Earnings: Evidence from the German short school years," CEE Discussion Papers 0034, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    3. Lindahl, Mikael & Lundberg, Evelina & Palme, Mårten & Simeonova, Emilia, 2016. "Parental Influences on Health and Longevity: Lessons from a Large Sample of Adoptees," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2016:3, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    4. Mohseni-Cheraghlou, Amin, 2016. "The Aftermath of Financial Crises: A Look on Human and Social Wellbeing," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 88-106.
    5. repec:eee:injoed:v:54:y:2017:i:c:p:26-38 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Kasey Buckles & Joseph Price, 2013. "Selection and the Marriage Premium for Infant Health," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(4), pages 1315-1339, August.
    7. Philip Oreopoulos & Marianne E. Page & Ann Huff Stevens, 2003. "Does Human Capital Transfer from Parent to Child? The Intergenerational Effects of Compulsory Schooling," NBER Working Papers 10164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Stella A. Quimbo & Aleli D. Kraft & Joseph J. Capuno, 2008. "Health, Education and the Household : Explaining Poverty Webs," UP School of Economics Discussion Papers 200809, University of the Philippines School of Economics.
    9. Dee, Thomas S., 2004. "Are there civic returns to education?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1697-1720, August.
    10. Kosack, Stephen & Tobin, Jennifer L., 2015. "Which Countries’ Citizens Are Better Off With Trade?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 95-113.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:9360. 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: () or (Joanne Lustig). General contact details of provider: http://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 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.

    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.