Intergenerational transmission of educational attainment in adoptive families in the Netherlands

Marjolijn Das, Statistics Netherlands
Lotte Scheeren, University of Amsterdam
Aart C. Liefbroer, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI)

We aimed to improve our understanding of intergenerational transmission by examining the effect of family background, i.e. parent’s education and income, on the educational attainment of their foreign-born adopted children. A large-scale register database is used, which contains information on the adoption status, educational level in secondary school and parental characteristics of all 15-year old children living in the Netherlands in the years 2011-2013 (N=436,720). We found that parental education is not consistently associated with the educational attainment of their foreign-born adoptees, while it is associated with biological children’s education. Moreover, parental income, on the other hand, affected both adopted and biological children. Hence, the results indicate that educational attainment at age 15 is mainly driven by genes and financial capital.

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Presented in Session 117: Child development