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Why Children of College Graduates Outperform their Schoolmates: A Study of Cousins and Adoptees
by Torbjørn Haegeland, Lars Kirkeboen, Oddbjørn Raaum, Kjell G. Salvanes
(December 2010)

Massive cross-sectional evidence exists indicating that children of more educated parents outperform their schoolmates. However, evidence for causal interpretation of this association is weak. We examine a causal relationship using two approaches for identification within the same data: cousins with twin parents and adopted children. We find no effect of mothers' education on children's school performance using the children-of-twins approach. However, for adopted children, mother's education has a small positive effect. Tracking the work experience of parents during offspring childhood, we find no support that this effect can be explained by a higher labor force participation among more educated mothers.
Text: See Discussion Paper No. 5369  


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