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Home | Events Archive | Family Distress and Critical Education Periods

Family Distress and Critical Education Periods

  • Series
    PhD Lunch Seminars
  • Speaker(s)
    Renske Stans (University of Bonn, Germany)
  • Field
    Behavioral Economics
  • Location
    Erasmus University, Polak Building, Room 1-07
  • Date and time

    May 14, 2019
    13:00 - 14:00


This paper aims to understand how the setup of the education system interacts with events of family distress during childhood and what consequences this interaction has for educational and labour market outcomes later in life. I employ Dutch population registers to exploit the random timing of (grand)parental deaths before and after critical education periods. This allows me to estimate the mediating role of such periods. The preliminary results show that losing a parent before a critical transition period does not negatively affect educational performance, while in the case of the death of a grandparent there are small, but significant, adverse effects on performance. To investigate potential mechanisms that underlie these findings, I conduct a survey on a representative sample of Dutch parents, which focuses on changes in parental investments surrounding events of family distress. The results of this paper contribute to the debate on how the set-up of the education system can help establish equality of opportunity in the light of unfortunate childhood experiences.