Born or bred? The roles of nature and nurture for intergenerational persistence in labour market outcomes

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Ulvestad, Marte E.S., Simen Markussen




Journal of Population Economics


Sammendrag (engelsk)

Using a Norwegian sample of adoptees from South Korea, matched to a sample of Norwegian-born children, we study the intergenerational transmission of labour market outcomes, including earnings, disability insurance participation and sickness absence, as well as education. We find the nurture effect to be substantial for education, labour earnings, and sickness absence, but fairly small and insignificant for disability insurance participation. By carefully comparing adoptees to children living with their biological parents, we also estimate the shares of intergenerational transmission stemming from heritability and environmental factors. Across outcomes we find heritability to account for about 50–100% of intergenerational transmission.


Intergenerational mobility · Intergenerational transmission · Adoptees · Heritability · Sickness benefits


I38 · J29

Prosjekt info:

Oppdragsgiver: Norges forskningsråd
Oppdragsgivers prosjektnr.: 227103
Frisch prosjekt: 4134 - Disentangling absence patterns