Discussion paper

DP15254 Intergenerational Mobility in Socio-emotional Skills

This paper investigates the intergenerational transmission of socio-emotional skills during childhood, using data from the 1970 British Cohort Study (BCS70) in the United Kingdom. This dataset enables us to measure two dimensions of socio-emotional development: internalising and externalising skills. More importantly, we can use multiple measures of parents' skills collected during both their childhood and their adulthood. Whereas parent-child skills are strongly related when both are measured contemporaneously, they remain correlated when both are measured in childhood, with a stronger transmission observed from mothers to their children. Additionally, by leveraging the BCS70 data on socio-emotional skills for three generations, we estimate multi-generational persistence. Notably, we find a correlation between the grandmother's internalising skill and the grandchildren's skills, even after accounting for parental skills.


Attanasio, O, A de Paula and A Toppeta (2020), ‘DP15254 Intergenerational Mobility in Socio-emotional Skills‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 15254. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp15254