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Gender and Intergenerational Mobility: Using Health Outcomes to Compare Intergenerational Mobility Across Gender and Over Time

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  • John Parman

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    (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary)

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    Abstract

    Changes in intergenerational mobility over time have been the focus of extensive research. However, existing studies have been limited to studying only males and relying on intergenerational correlations in outcome variables that often lack clear welfare implications. This paper introduces a new methodology for measuring intergenerational mobility that relies on health measures rather than occupational measures to assess the strength of the relationship between the outcomes of parents and their children. It introduces a new intergenerational dataset spanning seven decades that is constructed by linking individuals' death certificates to those of their parents. Relying on death certificates data allows for linking both males and females to their parents. Life span calculated from these death certificates provides a measure of welfare that has a consistent interpretation across time and genders. Intergenerational correlations in life span serve as our measure of mobility. We find that a son's life span is strongly correlated with his father's and that this correlation has strengthened over time. Daughter's life span shows a similarly strong relationship with mother's life span that has remained relatively stable over the past century. Differences in life span are shown to correlate with occupational status and occupational transitions from one generation to the next.

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    File URL: http://economics.wm.edu/wp/cwm_wp122.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Department of Economics, College of William and Mary in its series Working Papers with number 122.

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    Length: 37 pages
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    Handle: RePEc:cwm:wpaper:122

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    1. 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.
    2. Laura Chadwick & Gary Solon, 2002. "Intergenerational Income Mobility Among Daughters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 335-344, March.
    3. Chul-In Lee & Gary Solon, 2006. "Trends in Intergenerational Income Mobility," NBER Working Papers 12007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Aaberge, Rolf, et al, 2002. "Income Inequality and Income Mobility in the Scandinavian Countries Compared to the United States," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(4), pages 443-69, December.
    5. Bhashkar Mazumder, 2005. "Fortunate Sons: New Estimates of Intergenerational Mobility in the United States Using Social Security Earnings Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 235-255, May.
    6. Solon, Gary, 1999. "Intergenerational mobility in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 29, pages 1761-1800 Elsevier.
    7. Joseph P. Ferrie, 2005. "History Lessons: The End of American Exceptionalism? Mobility in the United States Since 1850," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 199-215, Summer.
    8. Jason Long & Joseph Ferrie, 2007. "The Path to Convergence: Intergenerational Occupational Mobility in Britain and the US in Three Eras," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(519), pages C61-C71, 03.
    9. Richard H. Steckel & Jayanthi Krishnan, 1992. "Wealth Mobility in America: A View from the National Longitudinal Survey," NBER Working Papers 4137, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Karen Mason & Lisa Cope, 1987. "Sources of age and date-of-birth misreporting in the 1900 U.S. census," Demography, Springer, vol. 24(4), pages 563-573, November.
    11. Mark Hill & Samuel Preston & Ira Rosenwaike, 2000. "Age reporting among white Americans aged 85+: Results of a record linkage study," Demography, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 175-186, May.
    12. Irma Elo & Samuel Preston, 1994. "Estimating African-American mortality from inaccurate data," Demography, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 427-458, August.
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