Nature Trumps Nurture

Apparently it's all in the genes. This fascinating post comes from Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution:

Higher parental income predicts higher child income but only for biological children and not for adoptees. What about education? Sacerdote looks at that as well:

Having a college educated mother increases an adoptee's probability of graduating from college by 7 percentage points, but raises a biological child's probability of graduating from college by 26 percentage points.

The effect for father's years of education is even larger; about a ten times larger effect on biological children than on adoptees. Similarly, parent income has a negligible effect, small and not statistically significant, on an adoptee completing college but an 8 times larger and statistically significant effect on a biological child completing college.

Comments (3)

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  1. Devon Herrick says:

    I wonder how much these results would change if the researchers controlled for age at adoption. I suspect children adopted closer to birth would tend to score more like a biological children.

  2. Clark says:

    These results are fascinating.

  3. Linda Gorman says:

    The adoptees were Korean infants randomly assigned to American families approved for adoption. The adoptions took place between 1970 and 1980. The adoptees were therefore were aged 23-33 when the follow-up was done in 2003.