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The Intergenerational Correlation Between Children'S Adult Earnings And Their Parents' Income: Results From The Michigan Panel Survey Of Income Dynamics


  • Jere R. Behrman
  • Paul Taubman


Intergenerational correlations between parental income and child earnings reflect the extent of intergenerational economic mobility and equality of opportunity. Previous estimates are about 0.2, but these estimates suffer from a number of problems, including the use of but one year of observations and of nonrandom samples. We present new estimates based on the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. These estimates suggest correlations over 0.5 with longer‐run income and earning measures, as well as some gender and race differences and some impact of liquidity constraints. They also suggest that the intergenerational elasticity is greater as parental income increases, the opposite of the Becker‐Tomes conjecture.

Suggested Citation

  • Jere R. Behrman & Paul Taubman, 1990. "The Intergenerational Correlation Between Children'S Adult Earnings And Their Parents' Income: Results 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 115-127, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:36:y:1990:i:2:p:115-127
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-4991.1990.tb00275.x

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