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Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families

In: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition)

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  • Gary S. Becker
  • Nigel Tomes

Abstract

This paper develops a model of the transmission of earnings, assets, and consumption from parents to descendants. The model assumes utility-maximizing parents who are concerned about the welfare of their children. The degree of intergenerational mobility is determined by the interaction of this utility-maximizing behavior with investment and consumption opportunities in different gene rations and with different kinds of luck. The authors examine a number of empirical studies for different countries. Regression to the mean in earnings in rich countries appears to be rapid. Almost all the earnings advantages or disadvantages of ancestors are wiped out in three generations. Copyright 1986 by University of Chicago Press.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Gary S. Becker, 1994. "Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition)," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck94-1, October.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 11237.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:11237

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    1. What makes good parents?
      by fazeer in an economist in paradise on 2009-08-19 16:27:37
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