Nature and Nurture in the Intergenerational Transmission of Socioeconomic Status: Evidence from Swedish Children and Their Biological and Rearing Parents

27 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2007 Last revised: 26 Jun 2010

See all articles by Anders Bjorklund

Anders Bjorklund

Stockholm University; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Markus Jantti

Stockholm University

Gary Solon

University of Arizona; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2007

Abstract

This study uses an extraordinary Swedish data set to explore the sources of the intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic status. Merging data from administrative sources and censuses, we investigate the association between sons' and daughters' socioeconomic outcomes and those of their biological and rearing parents. Our analysis focuses on children raised in six different family circumstances: raised by both biological parents, raised by the biological mother without a stepfather, raised by the biological mother with a stepfather, raised by the biological father without a stepmother, raised by the biological father with a stepmother, and raised by two adoptive parents. Relative to the existing literature, the most remarkable feature of our data set is that it contains information on the biological parents even when they are not the rearing parents. We specify a simple additive model of pre-birth (including genetic) and post-birth influences and examine the model's ability to provide a unified account of the intergenerational associations in all six family types. Our results suggest substantial roles for both pre-birth and post-birth factors.

Suggested Citation

Bjorklund, Anders and Jantti, Markus and Solon, Gary, Nature and Nurture in the Intergenerational Transmission of Socioeconomic Status: Evidence from Swedish Children and Their Biological and Rearing Parents (March 2007). NBER Working Paper No. w12985. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=975926

Anders Bjorklund

Stockholm University ( email )

Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI)
S-106 91 Stockholm
Sweden
+46 8 163452 (Phone)
+46 8 154670 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Markus Jantti

Stockholm University ( email )

Swedish Institute for Social Research
Stockholm, SE-10691
Sweden
+468162645 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.abo.fi/~mjantti/

Gary Solon (Contact Author)

University of Arizona ( email )

Department of Economics
Eller College of Management
Tucson, AZ 85719
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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