Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/121772
Authors: 
Anger, Silke
Schnitzlein, Daniel D.
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
Discussion Paper, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Leibniz University of Hannover 561
Abstract: 
This paper estimates sibling correlations in cognitive and non-cognitive skills to evaluate the importance of family background for skill formation. Based on a large representative German dataset including IQ test scores and measures of non-cognitive skills, a restricted maximum likelihood model indicates substantial influences of family background on skill formation. Sibling correlations in non-cognitive skills range from 0.223 to 0.464; therefore, at least one-fifth of the variance in these skills results from sibling-related factors. Sibling correlations in cognitive skills are higher than 0.50; therefore, more than half of the inequality in cognition can be explained by family background. Comparing these findings with those in the intergenerational skill transmission literature suggests that intergenerational correlations capture only part of the influence of family on children's cognitive and non-cognitive skills, as confirmed by decomposition analyses and in line with previous findings on educational and income mobility.
Subjects: 
sibling correlations
family background
non-cognitive skills
cognitive skills
intergenerational mobility
JEL: 
J24
J62
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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