A Daily news digest by Jasper van Santen

Father’s brain more valuable than their wallet – Telegraph

In Nonsense on June 22, 2012 at 16:09

Father's brain more valuable than their wallet

Father’s brain more valuable than their wallet 

Although boys with wealthier fathers usually grow up to earn higher-than-average incomes themselves, researchers said their parents’ money may not be the deciding factor.

Intelligence, advice, work ethic and other “human capital endowments” which sons inherit from their fathers are more important than money in determining how successful they will be, the experts wrote in the Journal of Political Economy.

To establish what causes the link between a father’s income and their son’s, the researchers compared the effects of fathers’ money with other helpful qualities.

Such a comparison is difficult to make because fathers who are hard-working and intelligent are also more likely to have higher incomes in the first place.

To separate which factors had the biggest impact, the researchers from Brigham Young University compared detailed sets of data on Swedish fathers with sons born between 1950 and 1965.

The information included their income as well as their education and job description, which were indicative of the “human capital” which the fathers might be able to pass to their sons.

An overall comparison between fathers’ income and their sons’ showed that, as expected, wealthier fathers were more likely to have well-paid sons.

To distinguish how much of the trend was down to money alone, researchers then compared men who earned different amounts despite having similar levels of education and professional skill, for example due to different labour market conditions.

They found that differences in income like these, which were not related to the fathers’ education or skill level, had less of an impact on their sons’ wages.

In contrast “human capital” qualities passed from father to son accounted for about two thirds of the link between their earnings, researchers reported.


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