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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, 2006. "Does Educational Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences- in-Differences Evidence Across Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(510), pages C63-C76, 03.
  2. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 257-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Lam, David & Schoeni, Robert F, 1993. "Effects of Family Background on Earnings and Returns to Schooling: Evidence from Brazil," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(4), pages 710-40, August.
  4. 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.
  5. John Ermisch & Marco Francesconi & Thomas Siedler, 2004. "Intergenerational Economic Mobility and Assortative Mating," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 448, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  6. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-89, December.
  7. Diego Restuccia & Carlos Urrutia, 2002. "Intergenerational Persistence of Earnings: The Role of Early and College Education," University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers 20024, University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute.
  8. Lindahl, Lena, 2002. "Do birth order and family size matter for intergenerational income mobility? Evidence from Sweden," Working Paper Series 5/2002, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  9. 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.
  10. 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).
  11. Lam, D. & Schoeni, R.F., 1995. "Family Ties and Labor Markets in the United States and Brazil," Papers 95-04, RAND - Reprint Series.
  12. Gabriela Schütz & Heinrich W. Ursprung & Ludger Wö�mann, 2008. "Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(2), pages 279-308, 05.
  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. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Ammermüller, Andreas, 2005. "Educational Opportunities and the Role of Institutions," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-44, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  18. Corak,Miles (ed.), 2004. "Generational Income Mobility in North America and Europe," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521827607.
  19. Laura Chadwick & Gary Solon, 2002. "Intergenerational Income Mobility Among Daughters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 335-344, March.
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  21. Grawe, Nathan D., 2006. "Lifecycle bias in estimates of intergenerational earnings persistence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(5), pages 551-570, October.
  22. 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).
  23. 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.
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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 201025, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  2. 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," Memorandum 17/2007, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  3. Pekkarinen, Tuomas & Uusitalo, Roope & Kerr, Sari, 2009. "School tracking and development of cognitive skills," Working Paper Series 2009:6, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  4. Guell, Maia & Mora, Jose V. Rodriguez & Telmer, Christopher I., 2013. "Intergenerational Mobility and the Informative Content of Surnames," SIRE Discussion Papers 2013-75, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  5. Helena Holmlund & Mikael Lindahl & Erik Plug, 2010. "The Causal Effect of Parents' Schooling on Children's Schooling - A Comparison of Estimation Methods," CESifo Working Paper Series 3234, CESifo Group Munich.
  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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