Working Paper No. 884

The Intergenerational Transmission of Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Abilities

Published: October 4, 2011Keywords: Intergenerational Ability Correlations; Cognitive Ability; Non-Cognitive Ability; Measurement Error BiasJEL-codes: I00; J13; J24

The Intergenerational Transmission of Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Abilities Erik Grönqvist, Björn Öckert and Jonas Vlachos

We study the intergenerational transmission of cognitive and non-cognitive abilities between fathers and sons using population-wide enlistment data. Measurement error bias in fathers’ ability measures is corrected for using two sets of instruments. Results suggest that previous estimates of intergenerational ability correlations are biased downwards; once corrected for, the non-cognitive correlation is close to that of cognitive ability. We also predict mothers’ abilities and find the mother-son cognitive ability correlation to be stronger than the father-son correlation. Finally, educational attainment and labor market outcomes of both sons and daughters are strongly related to both parents’ cognitive and non-cognitive abilities.

Jonas Vlachos


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Sick of Inequality?

An Introduction to the Relationship between Inequality and Health

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In this book Andreas Bergh, Therese Nilsson, IFN and Lund University, and Daniel Waldenström, IFN and Paris School of Economics, France, review the latest research on the relationship between inequality and health. What does inequality mean for our health? Does increasing income inequality affect outcomes such as obesity, life expectancy and subjective well-being?


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