[Journal:] Review of Economics of the Household [ISSN:] 1569-5239 [Volume:] 11 [Issue:] 1 [Pages:] 29-54
This study investigates the effects of maternal education on child's health and health behavior. We draw on a rich German panel data set containing information about three generations. This allows instrumenting maternal education by the number of her siblings while conditioning on grandparental characteristics. The instrumental variables approach has not yet been used in the intergenerational context and works for the sample sizes of common household panels. We find substantial effects on health behavior for adolescent daughters, but neither for adolescent sons nor for the health status of newborns. We show that possible concerns for the validity of the instrument are unlikely to compromise these results. We discuss mother's health behavior, assortative mating, household income, and child¿s schooling track as possible channels of the estimated effects. Maternal education seems to affect daughter's smoking behavior through the higher likelihood of the daughter pursuing a higher secondary schooling track.
intergenerational mobility health health behavior instrumental variables