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Intergenerational Mobility and Assortative Mating. Effects of an Educational Reform

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  • Holmlund, Helena

    (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)

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, which postponed ability tracking and extended compulsory education from seven to nine years. The reform may have influenced intergenerational mobility by several different mechanisms. First, there is the possibility of a direct effect of extending compulsory education. Second, the age at which ability tracking takes place can be crucial for the educational choice. In particular, the earlier the tracking, the more likely it is that the schooling decision is made by the parents. Third, recognizing that economic well-being is determined by the income of the household, assortative mating plays a major role in the mobility process. I argue that the peer group in which couples form can be affected by the educational system, and evaluate how the reform affects intergenerational mobility through changes in assortative mating. Differences-indifferences estimates and sibling-difference estimates indicate that the reform indeed resulted in a sizeable increase in intergenerational income mobility, and in a lower educational association between children and parents. The reform also contributed to reducing the association in education between an individual’s partner and parents, which I interpret as an effect operating through reform effects on mating patterns.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Swedish Institute for Social Research in its series Working Paper Series with number 4/2006.

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Length: 54 pages
Date of creation: 10 May 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:sofiwp:2006_004

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Postal: SOFI, Stockholm University, SE-10691 Stockholm, Sweden
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References

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  1. 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.
  2. Lam, D. & Schoeni, R.F., 1993. "Family Ties and Labor Markets in the United States and Brazil," Papers 93-25, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  3. Hanushek, Eric A. & Woessmann, Ludger, 2005. "Does Educational Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences-in-Differences Evidence across Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 1901, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Schütz, Gabriela & Ursprung, Heinrich W. & Woessmann, Ludger, 2005. "Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity," IZA Discussion Papers 1906, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2005. "Educational Reform, Ability, and Family Background," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 414-424, March.
  8. Diego Restuccia & Carlos Urrutia, 2002. "Intergenerational Persistence of Earnings: The Role of Early and College Education," Working Papers 0209, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  9. Pekkarinen, Tuomas & Pekkala, Sari & Uusitalo, Roope, 2006. "Educational policy and intergenerational income mobility: evidence from the Finnish comprehensive school reform," Working Paper Series 2006:13, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  10. Christian Dustmann, 2004. "Parental background, secondary school track choice, and wages," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 209-230, April.
  11. 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.
  12. Corak,Miles (ed.), 2004. "Generational Income Mobility in North America and Europe," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521827607.
  13. Lena Lindahl, 2008. "Do birth order and family size matter for intergenerational income mobility? Evidence from Sweden," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(17), pages 2239-2257.
  14. 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.
  15. Steven Haider & Gary Solon, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variation in the Association between Current and Lifetime Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1308-1320, September.
  16. Ermisch, John & Francesconi, Marco & Siedler, Thomas, 2005. "Intergenerational Economic Mobility and Assortative Mating," IZA Discussion Papers 1847, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. 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.
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  19. 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.
  20. 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).
  21. Grawe, Nathan D., 2006. "Lifecycle bias in estimates of intergenerational earnings persistence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(5), pages 551-570, October.
  22. 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.
  23. 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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  25. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux, 2010. "Recent Developments in Intergenerational Mobility," NBER Working Papers 15889, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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," IZA Discussion Papers 4058, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

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