Family Background and Schooling Outcomes Before and During the Transition: Evidence from the Baltic Countries

New SSE Riga/BICEPS research paper by Mihails Hazans (BICEPS, University of Latvia), Olga Rastrigina (BICEPS) and Ija Trapeznikova (Northwestern University).

Abstract. This paper examines human capital gap between titular ethnicities and Russian-speaking minorities, which has emerged in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania during the transition and remains significant after controlling for parental education. For recent cohorts, unexplained gap is declining in Lithuania (despite absence of Russian language tertiary education) and in Estonia. Furthermore, we investigate intergenerational mobility in the Baltic countries. Parental education has a strong positive effect on propensity to obtain tertiary education, both in Soviet era and in post-Soviet period. Transition to the market has weakened mother’s education effect for titular ethnicities, while the opposite is true for minorities.

Keywords: Parental education; ethnic minorities; transition

JEL Classification: J24, J15, P51