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The Origins of Intergenerational Associations: Lessons from Swedish Adoption Data

Anders Bjorklund (), Mikael Lindahl () and Erik Plug ()

The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2006, vol. 121, issue 3, 999-1028

Abstract: We use unique Swedish data with information on adopted children's biological and adoptive parents to estimate intergenerational mobility associations in earnings and education. We argue that the impact from biological parents captures broad prebirth factors, including genes and prenatal environment, and the impact from adoptive parents represents broad postbirth factors, such as childhood environment. We find that both pre- and postbirth factors contribute to intergenerational earnings and education transmissions, and that prebirth factors are more important for mother's education and less important for father's income. We also find some evidence for a positive interaction effect between postbirth environment and prebirth factors.

Date: 2006
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