To assess heterogeneity in the influence of genetic variation on educational attainment across environmental contexts, we present a meta-analysis of heritability estimates in fifteen samples and thirty-four subgroups differing by nationality, sex, and birth cohort. We find that heritability, shared environment, and unshared environment each explain a substantial percentage of the variance in attainment across all countries, with between-sample heterogeneity in all three variance components. Although we observe only meager differences in the total family effect by cohort or sex, we observe large cohort and sex differences in the composition of the family effect, consistent with a history of higher heritability of educational attainment for males and for individuals born in the latter half of the twentieth century. Heritability also varies significantly by nation, with the direction of variation specific by sample.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science