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Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States


  • Solon, Gary


Social scientists and policy analysts have long expressed concern about the extent of intergenerational income mobility in the United States, but remarkably little empirical evidence is available. The few existing estimates of the intergenerational correlation in income have been biased downward by measurement error, unrepresentative samples, or both. New estimates based on intergenerational data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics imply that the intergenerational correlation in long-run income is at least 0.4, indicating dramatically less mobility than suggested by earlier research. Copyright 1992 by American Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:82:y:1992:i:3:p:393-408

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Aschauer, David Alan, 1985. "Fiscal Policy and Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 117-127, March.
    2. Hansen, Gary D., 1985. "Indivisible labor and the business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-327, November.
    3. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1984. "Macroeconomic analyses and microeconomic analyses of labor supply," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 117-156, January.
    4. Aschauer, David Alan, 1989. "Does public capital crowd out private capital?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 171-188, September.
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    7. Finn Kydland & Edward C. Prescott, 1980. "A Competitive Theory of Fluctuations and the Feasibility and Desirability of Stabilization Policy," NBER Chapters,in: Rational Expectations and Economic Policy, pages 169-198 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Long, John B, Jr & Plosser, Charles I, 1983. "Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 39-69, February.
    9. Gilbert Ghez & Gary S. Becker, 1975. "The Allocation of Time and Goods over the Life Cycle," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number ghez75-1, January.
    10. Bencivenga, Valerie R, 1992. "An Econometric Study of Hours and Output Variation with Preference Shocks," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(2), pages 449-471, May.
    11. Christiano, Lawrence J., 1988. "Why does inventory investment fluctuate so much?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 247-280.
    12. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 191-205, February.
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