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The role of parental cognitive ageing in the intergenerational mobility of cognitive abilities

Valentina Conti () and Joanna Kopinska

Labour Economics, 2018, vol. 51, issue C, 38-47

Abstract: This paper studies intergenerational transmission of cognitive abilities from parents to children, highlighting the role of parental cognitive ageing measured during adulthood, net of their cognitive abilities measured in adolescence. We investigate the life-cycle of parental cognitive abilities on offspring’s cognitive abilities within the British National Child Development Study (NCDS). We find that children benefit not only from the stock of cognitive abilities their mothers and fathers hold as adolescents, but also from cognitive evolution their parents achieve as adults. Furthermore, we find that favourable parental cognitive ageing is particularly important for low ability offspring, pointing to a potential role of cognition in delivering more effective mitigation and nurturing. When analysing three subsequent generations, we find that the transmission of late parental cognition is strong in the offspring with high education origins, in particular for the those in the upper tail of the cognitive abilities distribution. We quantify the economic impact of the cognitive ageing transmission, and find that one standard deviation increase in late parental cognition can be approximated to an average of 1.7% increase in offspring earnings.

Keywords: Intergenerational mobility; Cognitive abilities; Life-cycle; Quantile regression (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I20 J24 J62 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Working Paper: The role of parental cognitive aging in the intergenerational mobility of cognitive abilities (2012) Downloads
Working Paper: The Role of Parental Cognitive Aging in the Intergenerational Mobility of Cognitive Abilities (2012) Downloads
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