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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 Woessmann, 2005. "Does Educational Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences-in-Differences Evidence across Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 1415, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Grawe, Nathan D., 2006. "Lifecycle bias in estimates of intergenerational earnings persistence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(5), pages 551-570, October.
  3. Gabriela Schütz & Heinrich Ursprung & Ludger Woessmann, 2005. "Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity," CESifo Working Paper Series 1518, CESifo Group Munich.
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  5. 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.
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  14. Bauer, Philipp & Riphahn, Regina T., 2006. "Timing of school tracking as a determinant of intergenerational transmission of education," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 90-97, April.
  15. 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.
  16. 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).
  17. Costas Meghir & MÃ¥rten Palme, 2004. "Educational reform, ability and family background," IFS Working Papers, Institute for Fiscal Studies W04/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J., 2011. "Recent Developments in Intergenerational Mobility," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier.
  2. Helena Holmlund & Mikael Lindahl & Erik Plug, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Parents' Schooling on Children's Schooling: A Comparison of Estimation Methods," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 615-51, September.
  3. Pekkarinen, Tuomas & Uusitalo, Roope & Kerr, Sari Pekkala, 2009. "School Tracking and Development of Cognitive Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 4058, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  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. Maia Güell & José V. Rodriguez Mora & Chris Telmer, 2007. "Intergenerational mobility and the informative content of surnames," Economics Working Papers 1042, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  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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