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All In The Extended Family: Grandparents and College Attendance

Linda Loury

No 718, Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University from Department of Economics, Tufts University

Abstract: Previous work on social interactions has analyzed the effects of nuclear family, peer, school, and neighborhood characteristics. None has previously demonstrated that grandparents also alter grandchildren's schooling independently of parents. This paper shows that higher years of schooling of grandmothers and grandfathers increase respectively college attendance rates for granddaughters and grandsons. These effects do not simply result from correlation with unobserved parent's characteristics. The paper has methodological implications for measuring the size of background effects and for policies that change outcomes by altering social interactions.

Date: 2008
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