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Why Educated Mothers don’t make Educated Children? A Statistical Study in the Intergenerational Transmission of Schooling

More educated parents are observed to have better educated children. From a policy point of view, however, it is important to distinguish between causation and selection. Researchers trying to control for unobserved ability have found conflicting results: in most cases, they have found a strong positive paternal effect but a negligible maternal effect. In this paper, I evaluate the impact on the robustness of the estimates of the characteristics of the samples commonly used in this strand of research: samples of small size, with low variability in parental education, not randomly selected from the population. The part of the educational distribution involved in any identification strategy seems to be a key aspect to take into account to reconcile previous results from the literature.

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Paper provided by Research Department of Statistics Norway in its series Discussion Papers with number 563.

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Date of creation: Oct 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:563
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  1. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2002. "Does Increasing Women's Schooling Raise the Schooling of the Next Generation?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 323-334, March.
  2. Anders Björklund & Mikael Lindahl & Erik Plug, 2006. "The Origins of Intergenerational Associations: Lessons from Swedish Adoption Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(3), pages 999-1028, 08.
  3. de Haan, Monique & Plug, Erik, 2006. "Estimates of the Effect of Parents’ Schooling on Children’s Schooling Using Censored and Uncensored Samples," IZA Discussion Papers 2416, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Bound, John & Solon, Gary, 1999. "Double trouble: on the value of twins-based estimation of the return to schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 169-182, April.
  5. John Ermisch & Marco Francesconi, 2000. "Educational Choice, Families, and Young People's Earnings," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(1), pages 143-176.
  6. Jere R. Behrman & Barbara L. Wolfe, 1989. "Does More Schooling Make Women Better Nourished and Healthier? Adult Sibling Random and Fixed Effects Estimates for Nicaragua," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(4), pages 644-663.
  7. Erik Plug, 2004. "Estimating the Effect of Mother's Schooling on Children's Schooling Using a Sample of Adoptees," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 358-368, March.
  8. 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 1157-73, December.
  9. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2005. "Does Increasing Women's Schooling Raise the Schooling of the Next Generation? Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1745-1751, December.
  10. Sandra Black & Paul Devereux & Kjell Salvanes, 2004. "Why the apple doesn't fall far: understanding intergenerational transmission of human capital," Working Paper Series 2004-12, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  11. Daniel Aaronson, . "Using Sibling Data to Estimate the Impact of Neighborhoods on Children's Educational Outcomes," IPR working papers 95-20, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
  12. Altonji, Joseph G & Dunn, Thomas A, 1996. "Using Siblings to Estimate the Effect of School Quality on Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(4), pages 665-71, November.
  13. David Neumark & Sanders Korenman, 1994. "Sources of Bias in Women's Wage Equations: Results Using Sibling Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(2), pages 379-405.
  14. David Neumark, 1994. "Biases in Twin Estimates of the Return to Schooling: A Note on Recent Research," NBER Technical Working Papers 0158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Orley Ashenfelter & David Zimmerman, 1993. "Estimates of the Return to Schooling From Sibling Data: Fathers, Sons and Brothers," Working Papers 697, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  16. Light Audrey & Flores-Lagunes Alfonso, 2006. "Measurement Error in Schooling: Evidence from Samples of Siblings and Identical Twins," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-35, May.
  17. 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.
  18. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "The More the Merrier? The Effect of Family Size and Birth Order on Children's Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(2), pages 669-700, May.
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