The Intergenerational Transmission of Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Abilities

48 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010  

Erik Gronqvist

IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation

Bjorn Ockert

IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation

Jonas Vlachos

Stockholm University - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2010

Abstract

We study the intergenerational transmission of cognitive and non-cognitive abilities between parents and sons, using population-wide enlistment data. Conscripts are evaluated at the same age and with comparable methods across cohorts, and we correct for measurement error bias in fathers’ ability measures by using their brothers’ abilities as instruments. This strategy also enables us to predict mothers’ abilities. Results indicate that previous estimates of intergenerational ability correlations are biased downwards. This bias is particularly strong for non-cognitive abilities and once corrected for, the non-cognitive correlation is close to that of cognitive abilities. Using predicted abilities, we further find the mother-son cognitive ability correlation to be even stronger than the father-son correlation. Finally, educational attainment and labor market outcomes of both sons and daughters are found to be strongly related to both parents’ cognitive and non-cognitive abilities.

Keywords: cognitive ability, Intergenerational ability correlations, non-cognitive ability

JEL Classification: I0, J13, J24

Suggested Citation

Gronqvist, Erik and Ockert, Bjorn and Vlachos, Jonas, The Intergenerational Transmission of Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Abilities (July 2010). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP7908. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1640985

Erik Gronqvist (Contact Author)

IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation ( email )

Box 513
751 20 Uppsala
Sweden

Bjorn Ockert

IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation ( email )

Box 513
751 20 Uppsala
Sweden

Jonas Vlachos

Stockholm University - Department of Economics ( email )

Stockholm, 10691
Sweden

Paper statistics

Downloads
10
Abstract Views
541