We combine rich individual data on linked generations from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) with historical data on military operations in Europe during the World War II period to study the intergenerational transmission of education from parents to children. We focus on parents born between 1926 and 1945, many of whom were exposed to major war events or experienced war-related hardship during their childhood or adolescence.
Reduced form results show that parents exposed to such events completed on average less schooling compared to parents who did not, and this difference is also found for the children's generation. We then employ an (IV) strategy which shows that the effect is stronger for mothers compared to fathers. Moreover, mothers' education seem to be more important for girls than boys. Our findings are robust to a series of specifications.