We investigate the causal effect of education on spousal education using a sample of couples from the Health and Retirement Study. We estimate reduced-form linear matching functions derived from a parsimonious matching model which links spouses’ education. Using OLS we find that an additional year in husband’s (resp. wife’s) education is associated with an average increase in wife’s (resp. husband’s) education of 0.41 years —95% CI: 0.37, 0.45 (resp. 0.63 years —95% CI: 0.57, 0.68). To deal with endogeneity issues due to measurement error and omitted variables, we use a measure of genetic propensity (polygenic score) for educational attainment as an instrumental variable. Assuming that our instrument is valid, our 2SLS estimate suggests that an additional year in husband’s (resp. wife’s) education increases wife’s (resp. husband’s) education by about 0.49 years —95% CI: 0.35, 0.62 (resp. 0.76 —95% CI: 0.56, 0.96). Since greater genetic propensity for educational attainment has been linked to a range of personality and cognitive skills, we allow for the possibility that the exclusion restriction is violated using the plausible exogenous approach by Conley et al. (2012). A positive causal effect of education on spousal education cannot be ruled out, as long as one standard deviation increase in husband’s (wife’s) genetic propensity for education directly increases wife’s (husband’s) education by less than 0.2 (0.3) years.

The effect of education on spousal education: A genetic approach

Nicola Barban;Elisabetta De Cao;
2021

Abstract

We investigate the causal effect of education on spousal education using a sample of couples from the Health and Retirement Study. We estimate reduced-form linear matching functions derived from a parsimonious matching model which links spouses’ education. Using OLS we find that an additional year in husband’s (resp. wife’s) education is associated with an average increase in wife’s (resp. husband’s) education of 0.41 years —95% CI: 0.37, 0.45 (resp. 0.63 years —95% CI: 0.57, 0.68). To deal with endogeneity issues due to measurement error and omitted variables, we use a measure of genetic propensity (polygenic score) for educational attainment as an instrumental variable. Assuming that our instrument is valid, our 2SLS estimate suggests that an additional year in husband’s (resp. wife’s) education increases wife’s (resp. husband’s) education by about 0.49 years —95% CI: 0.35, 0.62 (resp. 0.76 —95% CI: 0.56, 0.96). Since greater genetic propensity for educational attainment has been linked to a range of personality and cognitive skills, we allow for the possibility that the exclusion restriction is violated using the plausible exogenous approach by Conley et al. (2012). A positive causal effect of education on spousal education cannot be ruled out, as long as one standard deviation increase in husband’s (wife’s) genetic propensity for education directly increases wife’s (husband’s) education by less than 0.2 (0.3) years.
Nicola Barban, Elisabetta De Cao, Sonia Oreffice, Climent Quintana-Domeque,
File in questo prodotto:
Eventuali allegati, non sono esposti

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/864770
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 0
social impact