Publication Date



This study investigates (1) the effects of parental assets on children’s educational attainment from high school completion to college degree attainment, and (2) mediating roles played by parental involvement, child’s educational expectations, and child’s self-esteem. The study sample (N=632) is drawn from the Child and Young Adult data supplement to the National Longitudinal Study of Youth 1979. Results indicate that parental assets are associated with children’s later educational attainment. Financial assets and home-ownership are significantly associated with high school completion and college attendance. In addition, family income becomes non-significant when specific measures of assets and liabilities are taken into account. Non-financial assets and income are significant predictors of college degree attainment. Children’s educational expectations mediate the effect of financial assets on high school completion. Empirical evidence provides support for asset-building programs and policies designed to promote long-term educational attainment.

Document Type

Working Paper


Financial Inclusion


Asset Building


Subsequent publication: Kim, Y., & Sherraden, M. (2011). Do parental assets matter for children's educational attainment?: Evidence from mediation tests. Children & Youth Services Review, 33(6), 969–979. doi:10.1016/j.childyouth.2011.01.003

Original Citation

Kim, Y., & Sherraden, M. (2010). Do parental assets matter for children’s educational attainment?: Evidence from mediation tests (CSD Working Paper No. 10-40). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.


CDA, child development account, child savings, child savings account, educational expectations, education