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Three-generation mobility in the United States, 1850–1940: The role of maternal and paternal grandparents

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  • Olivetti, Claudia
  • Paserman, M. Daniele
  • Salisbury, Laura

Abstract

This paper estimates intergenerational elasticities across three generations in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, exploring how maternal and paternal grandfathers predict the economic status of their grandsons and granddaughters. We document that the relationship between the income of grandparents and grandchildren differs by gender. The socio-economic status of grandsons is more strongly associated with the status of paternal grandfathers than maternal grandfathers. The status of maternal grandfathers is more strongly correlated with the status of granddaughters than grandsons, while the opposite is true for paternal grandfathers. We argue that the findings can be rationalized by a model of gender-specific intergenerational transmission of traits and imperfect assortative mating.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:70:y:2018:i:c:p:73-90
    DOI: 10.1016/j.eeh.2018.07.001
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Inwood, Kris & Minns, Chris & Summerfield, Fraser, 2019. "Occupational income scores and immigrant assimilation. Evidence from the Canadian census," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 114-122.
    3. Marianna Kudlyak & Andra C. Ghent, 2015. "Intergenerational Linkages in Household Credit," Working Paper 15-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, revised 05 Nov 2015.
    4. 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.
    5. Samuel Bazzi & Martin Fiszbein & Mesay Gebresilasse, 2017. "Frontier Culture: The Roots and Persistence of "Rugged Individualism" in the United States," NBER Working Papers 23997, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. John Komlos, 2016. "Unemployment in a Just Economy," CESifo Working Paper Series 5974, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Kelly Vosters & Jørgen Modalsli, 2019. "Spillover bias in multigenerational income regressions," Discussion Papers 897, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    8. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Platt Boustan & Elisa Jácome & Santiago Pérez, 2019. "Intergenerational Mobility of Immigrants in the US over Two Centuries," NBER Working Papers 26408, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Anke Becker, 2019. "On the Economic Origins of Restrictions on Women's Sexuality," CESifo Working Paper Series 7770, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational mobility; Multiple generations; Gender; Marriage; Assortative mating;

    JEL classification:

    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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