The causal effect of parental education on children’s educational achievement and its mediators


This project studies what part of the strong correlation between parental and child education is due to parental education and what part is due to preexisting differences between these parents, for example in terms their abilities and psychological characteristics. We aim at providing more credible estimates of the effects of parental education on child education by using an instrumental variables approach. We use the number of siblings of the parent as an instrumental variable for whether a parent obtains a university degree. Among other things we hold constant grandparental occupational status and education. We also study the role of mediators between parental and child education, such as the role of family income, cultural capital or parental involvement in the child’s education.