The Role of Parental Cognitive Aging in the Intergenerational Mobility of Cognitive Abilities

29 Pages Posted: 1 Feb 2012  

Valentina Conti

University of Rome, Tor Vergata

Joanna Kopinska

University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics; University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Centre for International Studies on Economic Growth (CEIS)

Date Written: January 30, 2012

Abstract

This paper studies intergenerational transmission of cognitive abilities from parents to children. We create a measure of parental cognitive evolution across time, which combines cognitive tests scores obtained at the age of 16 with the ones at the age of 50. We are thus able to identify cognitive aging patterns and assess their impact in the intergenerational perspective. The British National Child Development Study (NCDS) allows us to investigate the e ect of parental cognition on two distinct o spring's outcomes: cognitive abilities and educational attainment. Our analysis provides novel results concerning the role of parental cognitive transition during adult life. We nd that children bene t not only from the stock of cognitive abilities their mothers and fathers hold as adolescents, but also from cognitive evolution their parents achieve as adults. This outcome is signi cant and robust under various model speci cations. Finally, we investigate the determinants of parental cognitive transition. We nd that cognitive aging is attenuated for individuals who undergo multiple job variations, follow on-the-job trainings and engage in leisure activities. This analysis delivers new evidence on the role of policy interventions aimed at fostering cognitive function during adult life, which aside from improving individual outcomes, has positive externalities for the subsequent generations.

Keywords: intergenerational mobility, cognitive ability

JEL Classification: I20, J24, J62

Suggested Citation

Conti, Valentina and Kopinska, Joanna, The Role of Parental Cognitive Aging in the Intergenerational Mobility of Cognitive Abilities (January 30, 2012). CEIS Working Paper No. 219. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1995527 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1995527

Valentina Conti (Contact Author)

University of Rome, Tor Vergata ( email )

Via di Tor Vergata
Rome, Lazio 00133
Italy

Joanna Kopinska

University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Via Columbia n.2
Rome, rome 00100
Italy

University of Rome, Tor Vergata - Centre for International Studies on Economic Growth (CEIS) ( email )

Via Columbia, 2
Rome
Italy

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