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Studies on the intergenerational transmission of human capital usually assume a one-way spillover from parents to children. However, children may also affect their parents' human capital. Using exogenous variation in education, arising from a Swedish compulsory schooling reform in the 1950s and 1960s, we address this question by studying the causal effect of children's schooling on their parents' longevity. We first replicate previous findings of a positive and significant cross-sectional relationship between children's education and their parents' longevity. Our instrumental variables estimates are not statistically different from zero. However, they hide substantial heterogeneity by the gender of the child and the parent; female schooling is found to affect longevity of fathers and especially those from low socio-economic background. Taken together, our results point to the importance of daughters' schooling for parental health and to the importance of considering heterogeneous impacts.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of health economics
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