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Spillover-effects of offspring education

What is the evidence for a causal effect of children’s educational attainment on parents’ health and mortality

Parents of better-educated children are healthier and live longer. Is this a return to education crossing intergenerational boundaries, or is this the consequence of an unobserved factor driving both children’s education and parental health? Using data from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging (ELSA), the census, and two educational reforms that raised the mandatory school-leaving age from age 14 to 15 years in 1947 and from age 15 to 16 years in 1972, we investigate the causal effect of children’s education on parental longevity. We test theoretically and empirically motivated differences by socioeconomic status and by gender of the parents and children. We find mixed evidence and discuss these results in context of the different methods used, the reforms, and the wider UK context. 

This session will be co-hosted by Dr Georges ReniersDr Anushé Hassan.


Professor Christiaan Monden, University of Oxford 

Professor Monden has an eclectic/elastic interest in sociological and demographic questions around family, health & mortality, and social inequality. He is interested in how societies differ in who lives with whom, who gets how much of the good and bad stuff in life, and how (un)fortune in life is related to who your family are. He is currently involved in three projects. He is the PI of FAMSIZEMATTERS, an ERC funded project in which he and his team study various questions about the link between family size and (the reproduction of) social inequalities. Second, CritEvents - Critical Life Events and the Dynamics of Inequality - is a Norface ERA-NET funded project with partners in Amsterdam (Leopold PI), Lausanne, Florence and Stockholm. They study how the risk of and vulnerability to critical events - union dissolution and jobloss - is socially patterned, how this has changed over time, and which social policies are relevant for these associations. Third, he works on the Global Family Change project, spearheaded from Penn with partners in Oxford (Nuffield), CED/Barcelona, McGill/Montreal and Boconni/Milan. This explores the complex ways in which families are changing across low and middle-income countries. He is also Head of Department at the Department of Sociology (2018-2021). 

Please note that this session will not be recorded


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