The Effect of Parental Wealth on Educational Decisions (Wealth and Education)

Team: Jascha Dräger
Leader: Dr. Nora Müller, Dr. Klaus Pforr
Scientific unit: Dep. Monitoring Society and Social Change, Dep. Knowledge Transfer


Taking a life-course perspective, we will analyze the effect of parental wealth, measured as net worth, on three educational transitions in Germany: 1) the transition from primary to secondary school, 2) transitions within secondary school, and 3) transitions after successful completion of higher secondary school. We will empirically test a number of hypotheses that we derive for example from the subjective expected utility (SEU) model applying multinominal logistic regressions, sequence analysis and methods of event history analysis. The specific contribution of our project will be threefold. First, we will empirically test whether parental wealth has an independent effect on educational decisions; second, we will amplify and test a set of potential causal mechanisms linking these two measures; and third, we will test for the heterogeneity of the parental wealth - educational decisions relationship across the wealth distribution.



Sponsored by


  • Prof. Dr. Birgit Becker, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
  • Oshrat Hochman, PhD, GESIS
  • Prof. Dr. Thorsten Schneider, Universität Leipzig


  • Müller, Nora, Klaus Pforr, and Oshrat Hochman. 2017. The Effect of Parental Wealth on Children’s Educational Decisions in Germany: Compensation or Demotivation? Open Science Framework.