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An Examination of Paternal and Maternal Intergenerational Transmission of Schooling

  • Chiara Pronzato


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. Previous research trying to control for unobserved heterogeneity has found conflicting results: in most cases, a strong positive paternal effect was found with a negligible maternal effect; in fewer cases, opposite results were found. In this paper, I make use of a sample of Norwegian twins to evaluate the impact on the robustness of the estimates when varying the sample size and when selecting different parts of the population. Results concerning the effect of mother’s education are very sensitive to the size of the sample, while the part of the educational distribution considered seems to be a key to reconciling previous results from the literature.

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Paper provided by CHILD - Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic economics - ITALY in its series CHILD Working Papers with number wp20_09.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpc:wplist:wp20_09
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  1. Tom Hertz & Tamara Jayasundera & Patrizio Piraino & Sibel Selcuk & Nicole Smith & Alina Verashchagina, 2007. "The Inheritance of Educational Inequality: International Comparisons and Fifty-Year Trends," Working Papers 2007-013, American University, Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J. & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2003. "Why the Apple Doesn't Fall Far: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," IZA Discussion Papers 926, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Daniel Aaronson, 1996. "Using sibling data to estimate the impact of neighborhoods on children' s educational outcomes," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-96-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  12. 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..
  13. Behrman, Jere R & Rosenzweig, Mark R & Taubman, Paul, 1994. "Endowments and the Allocation of Schooling in the Family and in the Marriage Market: The Twins Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(6), pages 1131-74, December.
  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. 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.
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