All in the Extended Family: Grandparents, Aunts, and Uncles and Educational Attainment
Previous work on social interactions has analyzed the effects of nuclear family, peer, school, and neighborhood characteristics. This paper complements this research by first showing that individuals from similar nuclear families often differ in extended family member characteristics. It then demonstrates that older extended family members - aunts, uncles, and grandparents – independently affect college attendance probabilities and test score results of their younger relatives. In some cases, the sizes of the estimated effects are large enough to substantially narrow the achievement gap between disadvantaged and other youth.
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