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The Intergenerational Transmission of Cognitive Skills: An Investigation of the Causal Impact of Families on Student Outcomes

Eric Hanushek, Babs Jacobs, Guido Schwerdt, Rolf Van der Velden (), Stan Vermeulen () and Simon Wiederhold ()
Additional contact information
Stan Vermeulen: Maastricht University

No 14854, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: The extensive literature on intergenerational mobility highlights the importance of family linkages but fails to provide credible evidence about the underlying family factors that drive the pervasive correlations. We employ a unique combination of Dutch survey and registry data that links math and language skills across generations. We identify a causal connection between cognitive skills of parents and their children by exploiting within-family between-subject variation in these skills. The data also permit novel IV estimation that isolates variation in parental cognitive skills due to school and peer quality. The between-subject and IV estimates of the key intergenerational persistence parameter are strikingly similar and close at about 0.1. Finally, we show the strong influence of family skill transmission on children's choices of STEM fields.

Keywords: intergenerational mobility; parent-child skill transmission; causality; STEM (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I24 I26 J12 J24 J62 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 71 pages
Date: 2021-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-eur, nep-lab, nep-ltv, nep-neu and nep-ure
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Related works:
Working Paper: The intergenerational transmission of cognitive skills: An investigation of the causal impact of families on student outcomes (2022) Downloads
Working Paper: The Intergenerational Transmission of Cognitive Skills: An Investigation of the Causal Impact of Families on Student Outcomes (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: The intergenerational transmission of cognitive skills: an investigation of the causal impact of families on student outcomes (2021) Downloads
Working Paper: The intergenerational transmission of cognitive skills: an investigation of the causal impact of families on student outcomes (2021) Downloads
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