Intergenerational Educational Mobility

Effects of Family and State in Malaysia

by Lee A. Lillard, Robert Willis

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In this paper, the authors explore evidence concerning the relationship between parents' and children's education using a new body of data, the Second Malaysian Family Life Survey (MFLS-2), which contains information on the education of up to four generations of persons within a given family. This data allows the study of the spread of education in Malaysia over much of this century by examining the educational attainment of birth cohorts from 1910 to 1980. More importantly, the authors use this data to study the effects of parental education on the progress of their children through elementary, secondary and post- secondary school within a sequential discrete-time hazard model which allows for correlations among unmeasured family and individual-specific components. For a subset of the cohorts, the authors are able to introduce time-varying covariates to measure the family's economic circumstances, the quality of its environment, and the composition of the subset at the time a given decision is made.

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