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March 19, 2005

Bruce Sacerdote on Nature and Nurture

Quoted from Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner (2005), Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (New York: William Morrow: 0060776137):

In a paper titled "The Nature and Nurture of Economic Outcomes," the economist Bruce Sacerdote... takes a long-term quantitative look at the effects of parenting... three adoption studies.... Sacerdote found that parents who adopt children are typically smarter, better educated, and more highly paid than the baby's biological parents. But the adoptive parents' advantages had little bearing on the child's school performance... outweighed by the force of genetics. But, Sacerdote found... by the time the adopted children became adults, they had veered sharply from the destiny that IQ alone might have predicted. Compared to similar children who were not put up for adoption, the adoptees were far more likely to attend college, to have a well-paid job, and to wait until they were out of their teens before getting married...

Posted by DeLong at March 19, 2005 11:54 AM