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Is It the Family or the Neighborhood? Evidence from Sibling and Neighbor Correlations in Youth Education and Health

SOEPpapers 716, 28 S.

Elisabeth Bügelmayer, Daniel D. Schnitzlein


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Published in: Journal of Economic Inequality 16 (2018), 3, S. 369-388


In this paper we present sibling and neighbor correlations in school grades and cognitive skills as well as indicators of physical and mental health for a sample of German adolescents. In a first step, we estimate sibling correlations and find substantial influence of shared family and community background on all outcomes. To further disentangle the influence of family background and neighborhood, we estimate neighbor correlations. Our results show that for all outcomes, estimated neighbor correlations are clearly lower than estimated sibling correlations. However, especially for cognitive skills and mental health, neighbor correlations are still substantial in relation to sibling correlations. Thus, compared to existing results from other countries, the influence of the neighborhood is not negligible in Germany for some outcomes.

Topics: Health, Family, Education

JEL-Classification: J62
Keywords: Sibling correlations, intergenerational mobility, neighbor correlations
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