Increasing inequality in parent incomes and children's schooling

Duncan, Greg J., Kalil, Ariel and Ziol-Guest, Kathleen M. (2015). Increasing inequality in parent incomes and children's schooling. LCC Working Paper Series 2015-02, Institute for Social Science Research, The University of Queensland.

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Author Duncan, Greg J.
Kalil, Ariel
Ziol-Guest, Kathleen M.
Title Increasing inequality in parent incomes and children's schooling
School, Department or Centre Institute for Social Science Research
Institution The University of Queensland
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Series LCC Working Paper Series
Report Number 2015-02
Publication date 2015-01
Total pages 34
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Both income inequality and the achievement test score gap between high- and low-income children increased dramatically in the United States beginning in the 1970s. This paper investigates the demographic (family income, mother’s education, family size, two-parent family structure, and age of mother at birth) underpinnings of the growing income-based gap in school attainment using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. Across all 31 cohorts, we find that increases in the income gap between high and low income children account for about three-quarters of the increasing gap in completed schooling, half of the gap in college attendance and one-fifth of the gap in college graduation. We find no consistent evidence of increases in the estimated associations between parental income and children’s completed schooling. Increasing gaps in the two-parent family structures of high and low income families accounted for relatively little of the schooling gap because our estimates of the (regression-adjusted) associations between family structure and schooling were small. On the other hand, increasing gaps in the age of mother at the time of birth accounts for a substantial portion of the increasing schooling gap because mother’s age is consistently predictive of children’s completed schooling.
Keyword Income inequality
Educational attainment
Panel Study of Income Dynamics
Longitudinal
Family background
Institutional Status Non-UQ

 
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Created: Tue, 16 Jun 2015, 18:23:20 EST by Mary-Anne Marrington on behalf of Institute for Social Science Research