Early, Late or Never? When Does Parental Education Impact Child Outcomes?

51 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2013

See all articles by Matthew Dickson

Matthew Dickson

University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO)

Paul Gregg

University of Bath - Department of Social and Policy Sciences

Harriet Robinson

University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO)

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Abstract

We study the intergenerational effects of parents' education on their children's educational outcomes. The endogeneity of parental education is addressed by exploiting the exogenous shift in education levels induced by the 1972 Raising of the School Leaving Age (RoSLA) from age 15 to 16 in England and Wales. Using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children – a rich cohort dataset of children born in the early 1990s in Avon, England – allows us to examine the timing of impacts throughout the child's life, from pre-school assessments through the school years to the final exams at the end of the compulsory schooling period. We also determine whether there are differential effects for literacy and numeracy.We find that increasing parental education has a positive causal effect on children's outcomes that is evident at age 4 and continues to be visible up to and including the high stakes exams taken at age 16. Children of parents affected by the reform gain results approximately 0.1 standard deviations higher than those whose parents were not impacted. The effect is focused on the lower educated parents where we would expect there to be more of an impact: children of these parents gaining results approximately 0.2 standard deviations higher. The effects appear to be broadly equal across numeracy and literacy test scores.

Keywords: intergenerational mobility, schooling, child development

JEL Classification: I20, J62, J24

Suggested Citation

Dickson, Matthew and Gregg, Paul and Robinson, Harriet, Early, Late or Never? When Does Parental Education Impact Child Outcomes?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 7123. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2203273

Matthew Dickson (Contact Author)

University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO) ( email )

12 Priory Road
Bristol BS8 1TN
United Kingdom

Paul Gregg

University of Bath - Department of Social and Policy Sciences ( email )

Claverton Down
Bath, BA7 2AY
United Kingdom

Harriet Robinson

University of Bristol - Leverhulme Centre for Market and Public Organisation (CMPO) ( email )

12 Priory Road
Bristol BS8 1TN
United Kingdom

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