Understanding Intergenerational Mobility: The Role of Nature versus Nurture in Wealth and Other Economic Outcomes and Behaviors

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorBlack, Sandra E.-
dc.contributor.authorDevereux, Paul J.-
dc.contributor.authorLundborg, Petter-
dc.contributor.authorMajlesi, Kaveh-
dc.date.accessioned2019-05-23T09:18:39Z-
dc.date.available2019-05-23T09:18:39Z-
dc.date.copyright2019 the Authorsen_US
dc.date.issued2019-02-
dc.identifier.other201904-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10197/10631-
dc.description.abstractWealth is highly correlated between parents and their children; however, little is known about the extent to which these relationships are genetic or determined by environmental factors. We use administrative data on the net wealth of a large sample of Swedish adoptees merged with similar information for their biological and adoptive parents. Comparing the relationship between the wealth of adopted and biological parents and that of the adopted child, we find that, even prior to any inheritance, there is a substantial role for environment and a much smaller role for pre-birth factors and we find little evidence that nature/nurture interactions are important. When bequests are taken into account, the role of adoptive parental wealth becomes much stronger. Our findings suggest that wealth transmission is not primarily because children from wealthier families are inherently more talented or more able but that, even in relatively egalitarian Sweden, wealth begets wealth. We further build on the existing literature by providing a more comprehensive view of the role of nature and nurture on intergenerational mobility, looking at a wide range of different outcomes using a common sample and method. We find that environmental influences are relatively more important for wealth-related variables such as savings and investment decisions than for human capital. We conclude by studying consumption as an overall measure of welfare and find that, like wealth, it is more determined by environment than by biology.en_US
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.publisherUniversity College Dublin. School of Economicsen_US
dc.relation.ispartofseriesUCD Centre for Economic Research Working Paper Seriesen_US
dc.relation.ispartofseriesWP19/04en_US
dc.subjectIntergenerational mobilityen_US
dc.subjectWealth inequalityen_US
dc.subjectNature and nurtureen_US
dc.subjectWealth transmissionen_US
dc.subjectEnvironmental influencesen_US
dc.subject.classificationJ00en_US
dc.titleUnderstanding Intergenerational Mobility: The Role of Nature versus Nurture in Wealth and Other Economic Outcomes and Behaviorsen_US
dc.typeWorking Paperen_US
dc.statusNot peer revieweden_US
dc.neeo.contributorBlack|Sandra E.|aut|-
dc.neeo.contributorDevereux|Paul J.|aut|-
dc.neeo.contributorLundborg|Petter|aut|-
dc.neeo.contributorMajlesi|Kaveh|aut|-
item.grantfulltextopen-
item.fulltextWith Fulltext-
Appears in Collections:Economics Working Papers & Policy Papers
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