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Intergenerational Mobility and Assortative Mating: Effects of an Educational Reform

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  • Helena Holmlund

Abstract

This paper provides new evidence on the role of the educational system for intergenerational mobility. I evaluate an educational reform, implemented in Sweden in the 1950s and 60s, which postponed tracking and extended compulsory education from seven to nine years. The reform may have influenced intergenerational mobility through several different channels. First, it is likely that the reform increased education more for children from low educated households, compared to those children with more educated parents. Second, postponing tracking to higher ages is likely to reduce the parental influence in the educational choice, which may weaken the intergenerational economic link between children and their parents. And finally, recognizing that economic well-being is determined by the income of the household, and that assortative mating plays a major role in the mobility process, I examine how the reform has affected mobility through changes in marital sorting. The underlying hypothesis is that the peer group in which couples form can be affected by the educational system. Differences-in-differences estimates and sibling-difference estimates indicate that the reform indeed resulted in a sizeable increase in intergenerational income mobility, but effects operating through marital sorting seem to play a minor role.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE in its series CEE Discussion Papers with number 0091.

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Date of creation: Nov 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cep:ceedps:0091

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Web page: http://cee.lse.ac.uk/publications.htm

Related research

Keywords: Intergenerational mobility; education; assortative mating;

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References

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  1. Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Wößmann, 2005. "Does Educational Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences-in-Differences Evidence across Countries," Ifo Working Paper Series Ifo Working Paper No. 1, Ifo Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  2. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
  3. Hirvonen, Lalaina, 2006. "Intergenerational Earnings Mobility Among Daughters and Sons: Evidence from Sweden and a Comparison with the United States," Working Paper Series 5/2006, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  4. David Lam & Robert F. Schoeni, 1994. "Family Ties and Labor Markets in the United States and Brazil," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(4), pages 1235-1258.
  5. Pekkarinen, Tuomas & Uusitalo, Roope & Pekkala, Sari, 2006. "Education Policy and Intergenerational Income Mobility: Evidence from the Finnish Comprehensive School Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 2204, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  7. Bjorklund, Anders & Jantti, Markus, 1997. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in Sweden Compared to the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1009-18, December.
  8. Helena Holmlund, 2005. "Estimating Long-Term Consequences of Teenage Childbearing: An Examination of the Siblings Approach," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(3).
  9. Steven Haider & Gary Solon, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variation in the Association between Current and Lifetime Earnings," NBER Working Papers 11943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Corak,Miles (ed.), 2004. "Generational Income Mobility in North America and Europe," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521827607, October.
  13. Christian Dustmann, 2004. "Parental background, secondary school track choice, and wages," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 209-230, April.
  14. Osterberg, Torun, 2000. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in Sweden: What Do Tax-Data Show?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(4), pages 421-36, December.
  15. Gabriela Schütz & Heinrich Ursprung & Ludger Woessmann, 2005. "Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity," CESifo Working Paper Series 1518, CESifo Group Munich.
  16. Lars Lefgren & Frank McIntyre, 2006. "The Relationship between Women's Education and Marriage Outcomes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 787-830, October.
  17. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2004. "Educational reform, ability and family background," IFS Working Papers W04/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  18. Anders Bohlmark & Matthew J. Lindquist, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variations in the Association between Current and Lifetime Income: Replication and Extension for Sweden," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 879-900, October.
  19. Grawe, Nathan D., 2006. "Lifecycle bias in estimates of intergenerational earnings persistence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(5), pages 551-570, October.
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  22. Blanden, Joanne, 2005. "Love and Money: Intergenerational Mobility and Marital Matching on Parental Income," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2005272e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Sandra E Black & Paul J Devereux, 2010. "Recent Developments in Intergenerational Mobility," Working Papers 201010, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  2. Maia Guell & Jose V. Rodriguez Mora & Chris Telmer, 2007. "Intergenerational mobility and the informative content of surnames," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19701, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Tuomas Pekkarinen & Roope Uusitalo & Sari Kerr, 2009. "School tracking and development of cognitive skills," Working Papers 2, Government Institute for Economic Research Finland (VATT).
  4. Raaum, Oddbjørn & Bratsberg, Bernt & Røed, Knut & Österbacka, Eva & Eriksson, Tor & Jäntti, Markus & Naylor, Robin, 2007. "Marital Sorting, Household Labor Supply, and Intergenerational Earnings Mobility across Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 3037, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Holmlund, Helena & Lindahl, Mikael & Plug, Erik, 2008. "The Causal Effect of Parent's Schooling on Children's Schooling: A Comparison of Estimation Methods," IZA Discussion Papers 3630, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Orsetta Causa & Catherine Chapuis, 2009. "Equity in Student Achievement Across OECD Countries: An Investigation of the Role of Policies," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 708, OECD Publishing.

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