The upward intergenerational transmission of health from children to parents is increasingly important because the elder parents today will live with their children for a period longer than ever before. Then, are parents of well-educated children have a healthier lifestyle? The answer is indefinite in theory. On one side, well-educated children can transfer more economic resources to parents and then their parents can afford more cigarettes and alcohol. On the other, well-educated children have more health knowledge, which can spill over to their parents. Using China’s compulsory schooling reform in the mid-1980s as a quasi-experiment, this study examines the causal effects of children's schooling on parents’ smoking behaviors. The instrumental variables estimations show that the likelihood of parents’ smoking cessation increases with children’s schooling. Such a spillover effect, which is mainly driven by daughters, is especially stronger among parents with less schooling.
Presented in Session 11. Health & Mortality 2