Why Do Wealthy Parents Have Wealthy Children?
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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- Scientific articles 
Original versionJournal of Political Economy 2021 129:3, 703-756 10.1086/712446
We show that family background matters significantly for children’s accumulation of wealth and investor behavior as adults, even when removing the genetic connection between children and the parents raising them. The analysis is made possible by linking Korean-born children who were adopted at infancy by Norwegian parents to a population panel data set with detailed information on wealth and socio-economic characteristics. The mechanism by which these KoreanNorwegian adoptees were assigned to adoptive families is known and effectively random. This mechanism allows us to estimate the causal effects from an adoptee being raised in one type of family versus another.