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Human Capital, Heterogeneity and Estimated Degrees of Intergenerational Mobility

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  • Han, Song
  • Mulligan, Casey B

Abstract

We study the parental investment model of intergenerational mobility, where heterogeneity in "innate" earnings ability and parents' altruism rate is explicitly modelled. We show that heterogeneity increases the difficulty of detecting the existence of borrowing constrained families. Conversely, the presence of heterogeneity means that economic and linear statistical models of inheritance generate similar intergenerational data on consumption and earnings. We also suggest that nay cross-country differences in intergenerational earnings mobility are more readily interpreted according to the heterogeneity of inherited ability, rather than optimal family responses to country-specific institutions for accumulating human capital.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Royal Economic Society in its journal The Economic Journal.

Volume (Year): 111 (2001)
Issue (Month): 470 (April)
Pages: 207-43

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Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:111:y:2001:i:470:p:207-43

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  1. Behrman, J.R. & Pollak, R.A. & Taubman, P., 1990. "The Wealth Model: Efficiency In Education And Distribution In The Family," Working Papers 90-16, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  2. Joseph G. Altonji & Fumio Hayashi & Laurence J. Kotlikoff, 1989. "Is the Extended Family Altruistically Linked? Direct Tests Using Micro Data," NBER Working Papers 3046, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  14. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B, 1992. "Public versus Private Investment in Human Capital Endogenous Growth and Income Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 818-34, August.
  15. MaCurdy, Thomas E, 1981. "An Empirical Model of Labor Supply in a Life-Cycle Setting," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(6), pages 1059-85, December.
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