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A Multi-Country Study of Inter-Generational Educational Mobility

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  • Arnaud Chevalier

    (University College Dublin)

  • Kevin Denny

    (University College Dublin)

  • Dorren McMahon

    (Marino Institute of Education, Dublin)

Abstract

This paper analyses intergenerational educational mobility using survey data for twenty countries. We find that a number of interesting patterns emerge. Estimating a measure of mobility as movement and an index of mobility as equality of opportunity we find that while these two measures are positively correlated, the correlation is far from perfect. Examining the link with educational inequality we find evidence which suggests an inverse relationship between mobility and inequality consistent with egalitarian theory. The relationship between mobility appears to be weak, high returns to education do not depress mobility, as some human capital theories would suggest. Mobility appears to be somewhat higher for men whereas equality is much the same for both sexes. There is evidence that mobility as equality of opportunity has risen consistent with modernization theory. There is no evidence that expansion of third level education has led to a fall in the penalty associated with having a low educated parent. Estimates of marginal mobility are quite different from average mobility.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/economics/research/papers/2003/WP03.14.pdf
File Function: First version, 2003
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School Of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200314.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: 06 May 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200314

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  1. Denny, K.J. & Harmon, C.P., 1999. "Testing for Sheepskin Effects in Earnings Equations: Evidence for Five Countries," Papers 99/21, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
  2. Denny, Kevin & Harmon, Colm & Lydon, Raemonn, 2002. "Cross Country Evidence on the Returns to Education: Patterns and Explanations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3199, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Gibbons, Steve & Machin, Stephen, 2003. "Valuing English primary schools," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 197-219, March.
  4. Quah, Danny, 1993. " Galton's Fallacy and Tests of the Convergence Hypothesis," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(4), pages 427-43, December.
  5. 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.
  6. Alan B. Krueger & Mikael Lindahl, 1999. "Education for Growth in Sweden and the World," NBER Working Papers 7190, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Philip Trostel & Ian Walker, 2006. "Education and Work," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 377-399.
  8. Friedman, Milton, 1992. "Do Old Fallacies Ever Die?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(4), pages 2129-32, December.
  9. 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.
  10. Thomas, Vinod & Wang, Yan & Fan, Xibo, 2001. "Measuring education inequality - Gini coefficients of education," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2525, The World Bank.
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