Selection and Causation in the Parental Education Gradient in Health: Lessons from a Large Sample of Adoptees

40 Pages Posted: Last revised: 3 Feb 2021

See all articles by Evelina Björkegren

Evelina Björkegren

Uppsala University

Mikael Lindahl

University of Gothenburg - Department of Economics and Statistics

Marten Palme

Stockholm University - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Emilia Simeonova

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School

Date Written: December 2020

Abstract

We use data from a large sample of adoptees born in Sweden to study to what extent the well-established association between parental educational attainments and adult health of the child generation can be attributed to pre- or post-birth factors, respectively. We find a significant association between the educational attainment of the adopting parents and child health outcomes as adults. These results suggest that growing up in a better-educated household has long-term effects on health outcomes. Our analysis of the mechanisms behind the results suggests that formation of human capital, and in particular cognitive and non-cognitive skills, may be important.

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Suggested Citation

Björkegren, Evelina and Lindahl, Mikael and Palme, Marten and Simeonova, Emilia, Selection and Causation in the Parental Education Gradient in Health: Lessons from a Large Sample of Adoptees (December 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w28214, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3753124

Evelina Björkegren (Contact Author)

Uppsala University

Box 513
Uppsala, 751 20
Sweden

Mikael Lindahl

University of Gothenburg - Department of Economics and Statistics ( email )

Box 640
Vasagatan 1, E-building, floor 5 & 6
Göteborg, 40530
Sweden

Marten Palme

Stockholm University - Department of Economics ( email )

Universitetsvägen 10 A
House A, floor 4 and 7
Frescati, Stockholm
Sweden
+46163307 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Emilia Simeonova

Johns Hopkins University - Carey Business School ( email )

100 International Drive
Baltimore, MD 21202
United States

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