Parental Investments in College and Later Cash Transfers

Steven J. Haider, Kathleen M. McGarry

NBER Working Paper No. 18485
Issued in October 2012
NBER Program(s):   AG   CH   ED   LS   PE

The rising cost of college tuition and the accompanying investment parents often make have received considerable attention recently. While classic models in economics make important predictions about the magnitudes of these investments, their distribution across children, and their relationship with later cash transfers, there has been little empirical work examining these predictions, especially with regards to the differential treatment of siblings. Using unique data from a supplement to the Health and Retirement Study, we find that parents typically invest differentially in the schooling of siblings, but we find no evidence that these investments are offset by later cash transfers.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18485

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