Sibling Differences in Educational Polygenic Scores: How do Parents React?


Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna & Terskaya, Anastasia (2019). Sibling Differences in Educational Polygenic Scores: How do Parents React?.


We study whether parents’ investment decisions exacerbate or mitigate differences intheir children’s genetic predisposition for education. Parental investment decisions dependboth on parental preferences regarding inequality in the distribution of their children’squality and on how costly it is for parents to add to their children’s quality by investingin their human capital (or the price effect). Our empirical strategy allows us to isolate theeffects of parental preferences regarding equality from the price effect, a distinction thatcannot be made when relying on sibling or twin fixed-effects models. Importantly, recentadvances in molecular genetics allow us to use genetic variants that predict educationalattainment as a measure of children’s endowments. Individuals’ genetic makeup is fixedat conception, so these indicators cannot be affected by parental investment decisions. Wefind evidence that parents of nontwin siblings display inequality aversion and, given theabsolute endowment level of one child, they invest more in him/her if his/her sibling isbetter-endowed. Parents of twins instead display neutral preferences regarding equality,possibly because it is difficult to provide differential parental investments across childrenof the same age.


intrahousehold allocation of resources

Reference Type

Conference paper

Book Title

EALE Annual Conference


Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna
Terskaya, Anastasia

Year Published


City of Publication

Uppsala, Sweden

Reference ID