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Marching across Generations? Education Benefits and Intrahousehold Decision-Making

Benjamin L. Castleman, Francis X. Murphy and William Skimmyhorn

Journal of Human Capital, 2019, vol. 13, issue 3, 410 - 433

Abstract: We investigate how families resolve an important intrafamily household allocation problem—investing in their children’s postsecondary education—in the context of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. This legislation allowed service members to transfer education benefits to a family member in exchange for additional military service. Descriptive analysis reveals clear socioeconomic differences in patterns of transfer: utilization rates are highest among senior service members, who are better educated and earn higher wages, and are lowest among less educated, lower-wage junior soldiers. This pattern of use suggests that the transfer provision may have limited impact on intergenerational mobility for service members of low socioeconomic status.

Date: 2019
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