Passing it on: The intergenerational transmission of human capital in New Zealand families

Produced as a Families Commission Research Fund report for the Families Commissions, Wellington.

This study examines whether differences in parental education are reflected in differences in children's scores on cognitive tests, drawing attention to the role of family context in educational outcomes.

The primary focus is on the parental education/testscore gradient in New Zealand, although the study also presents comparative results for other OECD countries. Separate analyses are carried out for subgroups of children in New Zealand defined by immigrant status, gender and family type, and for children of New Zealand parents living in Australia.

To gain a better understanding of the factors associated with the gradient, the study analyses the statistical contribution of five broadly defined sets of educational inputs:

  • student characteristics,
  • household characteristics,
  • household educational resources,
  • student-school interactions, and
  • school characteristics.