Associations Between Maternal Antenatal Corticosteroid Treatment and Mental and Behavioural Disorders in Children

Babies whose mothers are treated with steroid drugs during pregnancy are significantly more likely to suffer from later mental and behavioural disorders, this research finds. The study looks at data on 670,000 children born in Finland between 2006 and 2017 and assesses whether the drugs – commonly administered to help a foetus mature when premature … Read more

The heterogeneous effects of parental unemployment on siblings’ educational outcomes

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Issue: 2021
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This study looks at the long-term effects of parental unemployment on children’s education. It finds that while there are negative impacts if the unemployment is during adolescence, there are, on average, none if it happens in early childhood. The researchers used data based on a 10 per cent sample of the adult population of Finland, … Read more

Subjective Well-Being and Self-Esteem in Preterm Born Adolescents: An Individual Participant Data Meta-Analysis

This paper looks at the self-reported well-being and self-esteem of adolescents born very preterm and moderate to late preterm compared with those born full-term. Using information on around 14,500 people born In the UK, Germany and Switzerland, and whose lives were tracked into adolescence, the researchers found no difference between the general well-being around family, … Read more

Family size and economic wellbeing following divorce: The United States in comparative perspective

Do childless women fare better economically than mothers after divorce? And do mothers with many children suffer more than those with small families? This study compares data from a panel study in the United States with similar information from studies in Germany, the United Kingdom and Australia. It finds that the household incomes of women … Read more

Should Germany have built a new wall? Macroeconomic lessons from the 2015-18 refugee wave

This research uses economic data modelling to look at whether the arrival of large numbers of refugees in 2015-16 depressed wages in Germany. It concludes that while some low-skilled natives did suffer, this effect was more than compensated for by welfare benefits to older residents. The researchers used data capturing the arrival of more than … Read more

Trends in Absolute Income Mobility in North America and Europe

This paper looks at trends in social mobility in eight wealthy countries and finds significant differences between them. It compares the real incomes of parents and children born between 1960 and 1987, linking the two generations where possible. Where this is not possible, absolute movements between generations are inferred by combining information on moves up … Read more

Stop Meta-Analyzing, Start Instrumenting: Maximizing the Predictive Power of Polygenic Scores

Polygenic scores have become the workhorse for empirical analyses in social-science genetics. Because a polygenic score is constructed using the results of finite-sample Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWASs), it is a noisy approximation of the true latent genetic predisposition to a certain trait. The conventional way of boosting the predictive power of polygenic scores is to … Read more

Measuring educational inequality of opportunity: pupil’s effort matters

This research uses a specially-designed survey in secondary schools in rural Bangladesh to look at the role of student effort in educational achievements and as a factor in overcoming disadvantage and inequality. The researchers looked at the test results of Bangladeshi schoolchildren in mathematics and English and evaluated the importance of effort relative to their … Read more

Family forerunners? Parental separation and partnership formation in 16 countries

This paper looks at whether children whose parents separated are more likely to cohabit rather than get married. The researchers looked at the partnerships of more than 130,000 men and women in 16 countries over five birth cohorts spanning 50 years. The research – one of the first to look at partnership formation patterns across countries … Read more

Investigating the genetic architecture of noncognitive skills using GWAS-by-subtraction

Little is known about the genetic architecture of traits affecting educational attainment other than cognitive ability. We used genomic structural equation modeling and prior genome-wide association studies (GWASs) of educational attainment (n = 1,131,881) and cognitive test performance (n = 257,841) to estimate SNP associations with educational attainment variation that is independent of cognitive ability. … Read more