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Social Mobility in the United States as a Markov Process

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  • Zol Alexei Hooper
  • E. Anthon Eff

Abstract

Previous research on intergenerational mobility in income, occupation, or social class as a Markov process typically uses regression models to analyze cross-sectional data. In this paper we draw data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) to build Markov transition states, producing a set of stylized facts from these longitudinal data. We derive the probabilities that children will repeat the occupational, educational, or child-raising choices of their parents. This gives us insight into how such lifestyle choices are vertically transmitted from parents to children, and the degree of persistence of these choices over the generations.

Suggested Citation

  • Zol Alexei Hooper & E. Anthon Eff, . "Social Mobility in the United States as a Markov Process," Journal for Economic Educators, Middle Tennessee State University, Business and Economic Research Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:mts:jrnlee:200802
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    File URL: http://mtsu.edu/~jee/pdf/MS307pp15-37.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Diego Restuccia & Carlos Urrutia, 2004. "Intergenerational Persistence of Earnings: The Role of Early and College Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1354-1378, December.
    2. Van de Gaer, Dirk & Schokkaert, Erik & Martinez, Michel, 2001. "Three Meanings of Intergenerational Mobility," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(272), pages 519-537, November.
    3. Ahlburg, Dennis, 1998. "Intergenerational Transmission of Health," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 265-270, May.
    4. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2002. "The Inheritance of Inequality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 3-30, Summer.
    5. Zimmerman, David J, 1992. "Regression toward Mediocrity in Economic Stature," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 409-429, June.
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