Selection and Causation in the Parental Education Gradient in Health: Lessons from a Large Sample of Adoptees
40 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2020 Last revised: 18 Nov 2021
Date Written: December 2020
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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