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Estimating the Intergenerational Correlation of Incomes : An Errors in Variables Framework

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  • Ramses H. ABUL NAGA

Abstract

Because the permanent incomes of parents and children are typically unobservable, the estimation of the intergenerational correlation of incomes is usually carried out via averaging methods or instrumentation. In this paper we take the permanent income of the parent family to be unobserved, but we assume that a model for its determinants is known to the researcher. In turn, this leads us to propose two related estimators for the intergenerational correlation: a two-stage least squares procedure and a more efficient MIMIC estimator. The MIMIC framework also provides estimates for the determinants of permanent income and the variance parameters required to evaluate the bias of the OLS estimator. Using a US sample of parents and children we provide estimates for the intergenerational correlation ranging between 0.30 and 0.78. The bias of the OLS estimator is estimated to be in the order of 40%.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP in its series Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) with number 9812.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: Aug 1998
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Economica, vol. 69, No 273, Feb. 2002, pp. 69-92
Handle: RePEc:lau:crdeep:9812

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Postal: Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP, Internef, CH-1015 Lausanne
Phone: ++41 21 692.33.64
Fax: ++41 21 692.33.05
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Web page: http://www.hec.unil.ch/deep/publications/cahiers/series
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Keywords: intergenerational mobility; errors in variables;

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References

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  1. Song Han & Casey B. Mulligan, . "Human Capital, Heterogeneity, and the Estimation of Degrees of Intergenerational Mobility," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 97-3, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  2. 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.
  3. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1986. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S1-39, July.
  4. Klepper, Steven & Leamer, Edward E, 1984. "Consistent Sets of Estimates for Regressions with Errors in All Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 163-83, January.
  5. Behrman, J.R. & Pollak, R.A. & Taubman, P., 1990. "The Wealth Model: Efficiency In Education And Distribution In The Family," Working Papers 90-16, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  6. Willis, Robert J., 1987. "Wage determinants: A survey and reinterpretation of human capital earnings functions," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 525-602 Elsevier.
  7. Dearden, Lorraine & Machin, Stephen & Reed, Howard, 1997. "Intergenerational Mobility in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 47-66, January.
  8. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
  9. Behrman, Jere R & Taubman, Paul, 1990. "The Intergenerational Correlation between Children's Adult Earnings and Their Parents' Income: Result from the Michigan Panel Survey of Income Dynamics," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 36(2), pages 115-27, June.
  10. Ramses ABUL NAGA & Jaya KRISHNAKUMAR, 1999. "Panel Data Estimation of the Intergenerational Correlation of Incomes," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9910, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  11. Bowles, Samuel, 1972. "Schooling and Inequality from Generation to Generation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages S219-S51, Part II, .
  12. 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.
  13. Solon, Gary, 1989. "Biases in the Estimation of Intergenerational Earnings Correlations," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 172-74, February.
  14. Behrman, Jere R & Pollak, Robert A & Taubman, Paul, 1982. "Parental Preferences and Provision for Progeny," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(1), pages 52-73, February.
  15. Zimmerman, David J, 1992. "Regression toward Mediocrity in Economic Stature," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 409-29, June.
  16. Griliches, Zvi, 1986. "Economic data issues," Handbook of Econometrics, in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 25, pages 1465-1514 Elsevier.
  17. Joseph G. Altonji & Thomas A. Dunn, 1991. "Relationships Among the Family Incomes and Labor Market Outcomes of Relatives," NBER Working Papers 3724, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Casey B. Mulligan, 1999. "Galton versus the Human Capital Approach to Inheritance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S184-S224, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Donal O’Neill & Olive Sweetman & Dirk Van de gaer, 2007. "The effects of measurement error and omitted variables when using transition matrices to measure intergenerational mobility," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 159-178, August.
  2. Markus Jantti & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2014. "Income Mobility," Working Papers 319, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  3. Ramses H. ABUL NAGA, 2001. "Biases of the Ordinary Least Squares and Instrumental Variables Estimators of the Intergenerational Earnings Correlation : Revisited in the Light of Panel Data," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 01.05, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.
  4. Sari Pekkala & Robert E. B. Lucas, 2004. "On the Importance of Finnishing School: Half a Century of Inter-Generational Economic Mobility in Finland," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-141, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  5. Lindquist, Matthew J. & Böhlmark, Anders, 2005. "Life-Cycle Variations in the Association between Current and Lifetime Income: Country, Cohort and Gender Comparisons," Working Paper Series 4/2005, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  6. Nilsson, William, 2005. "Opportunities, Preferences and Incomes," UmeÃ¥ Economic Studies 649, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
  7. repec:ese:iserwp:2013-23 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Ramses Abul Naga, 2008. "Biases of the ordinary least squares and instrumental variables estimators of the intergenerational earnings elasticity: Revisited in the light of panel data," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 323-350, December.
  9. Ramses ABUL NAGA & Jaya KRISHNAKUMAR, 1999. "Panel Data Estimation of the Intergenerational Correlation of Incomes," Cahiers de Recherches Economiques du Département d'Econométrie et d'Economie politique (DEEP) 9910, Université de Lausanne, Faculté des HEC, DEEP.

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