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Third Quarter 2018, 
Vol. 100, No. 3
Posted 2018-07-19

Intergenerational Mobility and the Effects of Parental Education, Time Investment, and Income on Children’s Educational Attainment

by George-Levi Gayle, Limor Golan, and Mehmet A. Soytas

This article analyzes the mechanisms through which parents’ and children’s education are linked. It estimates the causal effect of parental education, parental time with children, and parental income during early childhood on the educational outcomes of children. Estimating the causal effects of time with children, income, and parental education is challenging because parental time with children is usually unavailable in many datasets and because of the problem of endogeneity of parental income, time with children, and education. The authors, therefore, use an instrumental variables approach to estimate the causal effects. They find that once they account for the parental time input with children, parental income during the first five years is no longer statistically significant. The parental time investments of both parents in early childhood are each statistically and quantitatively significant determinants of the educational outcomes of children.