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All In The Extended Family: Grandparents and College Attendance

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  • Linda Loury

Abstract

Previous work on social interactions has analyzed the effects of nuclear family, peer, school, and neighborhood characteristics. None has previously demonstrated that grandparents also alter grandchildren's schooling independently of parents. This paper shows that higher years of schooling of grandmothers and grandfathers increase respectively college attendance rates for granddaughters and grandsons. These effects do not simply result from correlation with unobserved parent's characteristics. The paper has methodological implications for measuring the size of background effects and for policies that change outcomes by altering social interactions.

Suggested Citation

  • Linda Loury, 2008. "All In The Extended Family: Grandparents and College Attendance," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0718, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  • Handle: RePEc:tuf:tuftec:0718
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    File URL: http://ase.tufts.edu/econ/research/documents/2008/louryFamily.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. George A. Akerlof, 1997. "Social Distance and Social Decisions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(5), pages 1005-1028, September.
    2. Lisa Sanbonmatsu & Jeffrey R. Kling & Greg J. Duncan & Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, 2006. "Neighborhoods and Academic Achievement: Results from the Moving to Opportunity Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
    3. 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.
    4. Gary Solon & Marianne E. Page & Greg J. Duncan, 2000. "Correlations Between Neighboring Children In Their Subsequent Educational Attainment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(3), pages 383-392, August.
    5. Lee A. Lillard & Robert J. Willis, 1994. "Intergenerational Educational Mobility: Effects of Family and State in Malaysia," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(4), pages 1126-1166.
    6. Sandra E. Black & Amir Sufi, 2002. "Who Goes to College? Differential Enrollment by Race and Family Background," NBER Working Papers 9310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Linda Datcher Loury, 2006. "Some Contacts Are More Equal than Others: Informal Networks, Job Tenure, and Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 299-318, April.
    8. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Heckman, James J, 1995. "Lessons from the Bell Curve," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 1091-1120, October.
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