IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/eecrev/v130y2020ics0014292120302300.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Like (grand)parent, like child? Multigenerational mobility across the EU

Author

Listed:
  • Colagrossi, Marco
  • d’Hombres, Béatrice
  • Schnepf, Sylke V

Abstract

This study shows that the multigenerational transmission of inequality in most of the 28 EU countries is higher than what a parent-to-child paradigm would suggest. While a strand of the literature claims that this is due to a direct grandparental effect, economic historian Gregory Clark argues that multigenerational mobility follows a Markovian process. In his view, not only are previous estimates (severely) attenuated by an errors-in-variables problem, but persistence is also constant across time and space. Using a unique retrospective survey containing information on three generations of European citizens, we provide suggestive evidence against such a “universal law of mobility”. While estimates based on measurement error models show that persistence is indeed as strong as Clark suggests, there are cross-country differences. Furthermore, for a few EU countries, we cannot reject the hypothesis of a direct grandparental effect. Overall, there is no single data-generating process to describe multigenerational persistence that fits all EU countries.22This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors. Declarations of interest: none.

Suggested Citation

  • Colagrossi, Marco & d’Hombres, Béatrice & Schnepf, Sylke V, 2020. "Like (grand)parent, like child? Multigenerational mobility across the EU," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:130:y:2020:i:c:s0014292120302300
    DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2020.103600
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014292120302300
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.euroecorev.2020.103600?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kenneth A. Couch & Thomas A. Dunn, 1997. "Intergenerational Correlations in Labor Market Status: A Comparison of the United States and Germany," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(1), pages 210-232.
    2. Helena Holmlund & Mikael Lindahl & Erik Plug, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Parents' Schooling on Children's Schooling: A Comparison of Estimation Methods," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 615-651, September.
    3. Mikael Lindahl & Mårten Palme & Sofia Sandgren-Massih & Anna Sjögren, 2014. "A Test of the Becker-Tomes Model of Human Capital Transmission Using Microdata on Four Generations," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 80-96.
    4. Ben-Halima, B. & Chusseau, N. & Hellier, J., 2014. "Skill premia and intergenerational education mobility: The French case," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 50-64.
    5. Dearden, Lorraine & Machin, Stephen & Reed, Howard, 1997. "Intergenerational Mobility in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 47-66, January.
    6. Raj Chetty & Nathaniel Hendren, 2018. "The Impacts of Neighborhoods on Intergenerational Mobility II: County-Level Estimates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(3), pages 1163-1228.
    7. Anders Björklund & Mikael Lindahl & Erik Plug, 2006. "The Origins of Intergenerational Associations: Lessons from Swedish Adoption Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 999-1028.
    8. Benabou, Roland, 1994. "Human capital, inequality, and growth: A local perspective," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 817-826, April.
    9. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J., 2011. "Recent Developments in Intergenerational Mobility," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 16, pages 1487-1541, Elsevier.
    10. Clark, Gregory & Cummins, Neil, 2014. "Surnames and social mobility in England, 1170–2012," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 60593, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    11. Braun, Sebastian Till & Stuhler, Jan, 2018. "The Transmission of Inequality Across Multiple Generations: Testing Recent Theories with Evidence from Germany," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 576-611.
    12. Robert Lucas & Sari Kerr, 2013. "Intergenerational income immobility in Finland: contrasting roles for parental earnings and family income," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(3), pages 1057-1094, July.
    13. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1976. "Child Endowments and the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 143-162, August.
    14. Gary Solon, 2002. "Cross-Country Differences in Intergenerational Earnings Mobility," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 59-66, Summer.
    15. Stuhler, Jan, 2012. "Mobility Across Multiple Generations: The Iterated Regression Fallacy," IZA Discussion Papers 7072, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    16. Maia Güell & José V. Rodríguez Mora & Christopher I. Telmer, 2015. "The Informational Content of Surnames, the Evolution of Intergenerational Mobility, and Assortative Mating," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 693-735.
    17. Dribe, Martin & Helgertz, Jonas, 2016. "The Lasting Impact of Grandfathers: Class, Occupational Status, and Earnings over Three Generations in Sweden 1815–2011," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 76(4), pages 969-1000, December.
    18. Kelly Vosters & Martin Nybom, 2017. "Intergenerational Persistence in Latent Socioeconomic Status: Evidence from Sweden and the United States," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(3), pages 869-901.
    19. Gregory Clark, 2015. "The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 10181-2.
    20. Schenker N. & Gentleman J. F., 2001. "On Judging the Significance of Differences by Examining the Overlap Between Confidence Intervals," The American Statistician, American Statistical Association, vol. 55, pages 182-186, August.
    21. Laura Chadwick & Gary Solon, 2002. "Intergenerational Income Mobility Among Daughters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 335-344, March.
    22. Pablo Celhay & Sebasti�n Gallegos, 2015. "Persistence in the Transmission of Education: Evidence across Three Generations for Chile," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 420-451, August.
    23. Raj Chetty & Nathaniel Hendren, 2018. "The Impacts of Neighborhoods on Intergenerational Mobility I: Childhood Exposure Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(3), pages 1107-1162.
    24. 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, Third Edition, pages 257-298, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    25. Darren Lubotsky & Martin Wittenberg, 2006. "Interpretation of Regressions with Multiple Proxies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(3), pages 549-562, August.
    26. Behrman, Jere & Tarbman, Paul, 1985. "Intergenerational Earnings Mobility in the United States: Some Estimates and a Test of Becker's Intergenerational Endowments Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(1), pages 144-151, February.
    27. Gary Solon, 2018. "What Do We Know So Far about Multigenerational Mobility?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(612), pages 340-352, July.
    28. Robert Hodge, 1966. "Occupational mobility as a probability process," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 3(1), pages 19-34, March.
    29. Hertz Tom & Jayasundera Tamara & Piraino Patrizio & Selcuk Sibel & Smith Nicole & Verashchagina Alina, 2008. "The Inheritance of Educational Inequality: International Comparisons and Fifty-Year Trends," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-48, January.
    30. Gregory Clark & Neil Cummins, 2015. "Intergenerational Wealth Mobility in England, 1858–2012: Surnames and Social Mobility," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(582), pages 61-85, February.
    31. Kelly Vosters, 2018. "Is the Simple Law of Mobility Really a Law? Testing Clark's Hypothesis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(612), pages 404-421, July.
    32. Roland Bénabou, 1996. "Equity and Efficiency in Human Capital Investment: The Local Connection," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(2), pages 237-264.
    33. Mikael Lindahl & Mårten Palme & Sofia Sandgren Massih & Anna Sjögren, 2015. "Long-Term Intergenerational Persistence of Human Capital: An Empirical Analysis of Four Generations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(1), pages 1-33.
    34. Loury, Glenn C, 1981. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Distribution of Earnings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 843-867, June.
    35. 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 1153-1189, December.
    36. George J. Borjas, 2021. "Ethnicity, Neighborhoods, and Human-Capital Externalities," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Foundational Essays in Immigration Economics, chapter 7, pages 135-160, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    37. Guido Neidhöfer & Maximilian Stockhausen, 2019. "Dynastic Inequality Compared: Multigenerational Mobility in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 65(2), pages 383-414, June.
    38. Durlauf, Steven N., 1994. "Spillovers, stratification, and inequality," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 836-845, April.
    39. Robert Mare, 2011. "A Multigenerational View of Inequality," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(1), pages 1-23, February.
    40. Kroeger, Sarah & Thompson, Owen, 2016. "Educational mobility across three generations of American women," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 72-86.
    41. Zhen Zeng & Yu Xie, 2014. "The Effects of Grandparents on Children’s Schooling: Evidence From Rural China," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(2), pages 599-617, April.
    42. Florencia Torche & Alejandro Corvalan, 2018. "Estimating Intergenerational Mobility With Grouped Data," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 47(4), pages 787-811, November.
    43. Raj Chetty & Nathaniel Hendren & Patrick Kline & Emmanuel Saez, 2014. "Where is the land of Opportunity? The Geography of Intergenerational Mobility in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(4), pages 1553-1623.
    44. John Hendrickx & Nan Graaf & Jan Lammers & Wout Ultee, 1993. "Models for status inconsistency and mobility: A comparison of the approaches by Hope and Sobel with the mainstream square additive model," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 335-352, November.
    45. Clark, Gregory & Cummins, Neil & Hao, Yu & Vidal, Dan Diaz, 2015. "Surnames: A new source for the history of social mobility," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 3-24.
    46. J. Scott Long & Jeremy Freese, 2006. "Regression Models for Categorical Dependent Variables using Stata, 2nd Edition," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, edition 2, number long2, Fall.
    47. repec:hrv:faseco:30750027 is not listed on IDEAS
    48. Sebastian Till Braun & Jan Stuhler, 2018. "The Transmission of Inequality Across Multiple Generations: Testing Recent Theories with Evidence from Germany," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(609), pages 576-611, March.
    49. Neidhöfer, Guido & Stockhausen, Maximilian, 2016. "Dynastic inequality compared: Multigenerational mobility in the US, the UK, and Germany," Discussion Papers 2016/22, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    50. Xi Song & Robert D. Mare, 2015. "Prospective Versus Retrospective Approaches to the Study of Intergenerational Social Mobility," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 44(4), pages 555-584, November.
    51. Horrace, William C. & Oaxaca, Ronald L., 2006. "Results on the bias and inconsistency of ordinary least squares for the linear probability model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 90(3), pages 321-327, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. de la Croix, David & Goñi, Marc, 2020. "Nepotism vs. Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital in Academia (1088--1800)," CEPR Discussion Papers 15159, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Hector Moreno, 2021. "The Influence of Parental and Grandparental Education in the Transmission of Human Capital," Working Papers 588, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    3. Nybom, Martin & Stuhler, Jan, 2021. "Intergenerational mobility in a recession: Evidence from Sweden," Working Paper Series 2021:11, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    4. Ian Lundberg, 2020. "Does Opportunity Skip Generations? Reassessing Evidence From Sibling and Cousin Correlations," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(4), pages 1193-1213, August.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Adrian Adermon & Mikael Lindahl & Mårten Palme, 2021. "Dynastic Human Capital, Inequality, and Intergenerational Mobility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 111(5), pages 1523-1548, May.
    2. Giovanni Razzu & Ayago Wambile, 2020. "Three-generation educational mobility in six African countries," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2020-23, Department of Economics, University of Reading.
    3. Neidhöfer, Guido & Serrano, Joaquín & Gasparini, Leonardo, 2018. "Educational inequality and intergenerational mobility in Latin America: A new database," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 329-349.
    4. Braun, Sebastian Till & Stuhler, Jan, 2018. "The Transmission of Inequality Across Multiple Generations: Testing Recent Theories with Evidence from Germany," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 576-611.
    5. Gary Solon, 2018. "What Do We Know So Far about Multigenerational Mobility?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(612), pages 340-352, July.
    6. Ben-Halima, B. & Chusseau, N. & Hellier, J., 2014. "Skill premia and intergenerational education mobility: The French case," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 50-64.
    7. Jo Blanden & Matthias Doepke & Jan Stuhler, 2022. "Education inequality," CEP Discussion Papers dp1849, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    8. Martin Nybom & Jan Stuhler, 2019. "Steady-state assumptions in intergenerational mobility research," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 17(1), pages 77-97, March.
    9. Olivetti, Claudia & Paserman, M. Daniele & Salisbury, Laura, 2018. "Three-generation mobility in the United States, 1850–1940: The role of maternal and paternal grandparents," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 73-90.
    10. Guido Neidhöfer, 2019. "Intergenerational mobility and the rise and fall of inequality: Lessons from Latin America," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 17(4), pages 499-520, December.
    11. Nathalie Chusseau & Joël Hellier & B. Ben-Halima, 2013. "Education, Intergenerational Mobility and Inequality," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Joël Hellier & Nathalie Chusseau (ed.), Growing Income Inequalities, chapter 8, pages 227-273, Palgrave Macmillan.
    12. Adrian Adermon & Mikael Lindahl & Daniel Waldenström, 2018. "Intergenerational Wealth Mobility and the Role of Inheritance: Evidence from Multiple Generations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(612), pages 482-513, July.
    13. Kroeger, Sarah & Thompson, Owen, 2016. "Educational mobility across three generations of American women," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 72-86.
    14. Ian Lundberg, 2020. "Does Opportunity Skip Generations? Reassessing Evidence From Sibling and Cousin Correlations," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 57(4), pages 1193-1213, August.
    15. Joseph Ferrie & Catherine Massey & Jonathan Rothbaum, 2016. "Do Grandparents and Great-Grandparents Matter? Multigenerational Mobility in the US, 1910-2013," NBER Working Papers 22635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Maystadt, Jean-François & Migali, Giuseppe, 2021. "The transmission of health across 7 generations in China, 1789–1906," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    17. Shiue, Carol Hua, 2019. "Social Mobility in the Long Run: A Temporal Analysis of China from 1300 to 1900," CEPR Discussion Papers 13589, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Aydemir, Abdurrahman B. & Yazici, Hakki, 2019. "Intergenerational education mobility and the level of development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 160-185.
    19. Martin Dribe & Jonas Helgertz, 2015. "The lasting impact of grandfathers: class, occupational status, and earnings over three generations (Sweden, 1815-2010)," Working Papers 15027, Economic History Society.
    20. Kelly Vosters & Jørgen Modalsli, 2019. "Spillover bias in multigenerational income regressions," Discussion Papers 897, Statistics Norway, Research Department.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Multigenerational mobility; Education; Inequality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:130:y:2020:i:c:s0014292120302300. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.