Martin Hällsten: Family wealth and children's educational achievement in Sweden
Klasse- og eliteseminaret, i samarbeid med AKS, inviterer til seminar med Martin Hällsten (Stockholms universitet).
Seminaret omhandler betydningen av besteforeldres formue for barns utdanningsutsikter og er basert på et samarbeid med Fabian Pfeffer (University of Michigan).
Foto: Stockholms universitet
We study the role of family wealth for children's educational achievement using novel and unique Swedish register data. In particular, we focus on the relationship between grandparents' wealth and their grandchildren's educational achievement. Doing so allows us to reliably establish the independent role of wealth in contributing to long-term inequalities in opportunity. Using regression models with rich controls for observed socio-economic characteristics of families, cousin fixed effects to net out potentially unobserved grandparental effects, and marginal structural models to account for endogenous selection, we find substantial associations between grandparents' wealth and their grandchildren's 9th grade point averages (GPA) that are only partly mediated by the socio-economic characteristics and wealth of parents. This contribution then establishes that wealth inequality - even in a comparatively egalitarian context like that of Sweden - has profound consequences for the distribution of opportunity that extend across multiple generations. Our findings for Sweden may be conservative estimates of the long-term consequences of wealth inequality in other nations, like the United States, where family wealth - in addition to its insurance and normative functions - allows the direct purchase of educational quality and access.