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The Educational Legacy of the Greatest Generation: Paternal Military Service and Baby Boomer Educational Progress

  • Kimbrough, Gray

    ()

    (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics)

The American "high school movement" of the early 20th century resulted in a dramatic rise in high school graduation rates, a trend that continued into the middle of the century interrupted only by World War II. Previous work has characterized the pre-World War II transformation of secondary education, but less attention has been focused on the continued increased in educational attainment after the War, culminating in Baby Boomer children graduating from high school at a greater rate than any previous generation. High rates of military service and subsequent subsidies for factors shown to be associated with children's educational attainment o er a possible explanation. In this paper, I link Baby Boomer children to their fathers using IPUMS data to examine this relationship. Through linear regression and propensity score matching, I find that father's veteran status is associated with greater educational attainment for children. Exploiting discontinuities in military service, I further examine the exogeneity of this relationship, but I am unable to provide strong evidence that this is due to an exogenous effect of military service and GI Bill subsidies rather than positive selection into military service.

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Paper provided by University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 13-16.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 04 Oct 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ris:uncgec:2013_016
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Web page: http://www.uncg.edu/bae/econ/

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  1. 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.
  2. John Bound & Sarah Turner, 2002. "Going to War and Going to College: Did World War II and the G.I. Bill Increase Educational Attainment for Returning Veterans?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 20(4), pages 784-815, October.
  3. 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 1425-46, December.
  4. Angrist, Joshua & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Why Do World War II Veterans Earn More Than Nonveterans?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(1), pages 74-97, January.
  5. Marcus Stanley, 2003. "College Education And The Midcentury Gi Bills," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(2), pages 671-708, May.
  6. James J. Heckman & Paul A. LaFontaine, 2007. "The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels," NBER Working Papers 13670, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Donald R. Haurin & Toby L. Parcel & R. Jean Haurin, 2002. "Does Homeownership Affect Child Outcomes?," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 30(4), pages 635-666.
  8. Goldin, Claudia, 1998. "America's Graduation from High School: The Evolution and Spread of Secondary Schooling in the Twentieth Century," Scholarly Articles 2664307, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  9. Daniel Aaronson, 1999. "A note on the benefits of homeownership," Working Paper Series WP-99-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  10. Daniel K. Fetter, 2013. "How Do Mortgage Subsidies Affect Home Ownership? Evidence from the Mid-century GI Bills," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 111-47, May.
  11. Cascio, Elizabeth U., 2005. "School Progression and the Grade Distribution of Students: Evidence from the Current Population Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 1747, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
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