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The Transmission of Inequality Across Multiple Generations: Testing Recent Theories With Evidence From Germany

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  • Sebastian Till Braun
  • Jan Stuhler

Abstract

This article shows that across multiple generations, the persistence of occupational and educational attainment in Germany is larger than estimates from two generations suggest. We consider two recent interpretations. First, we assess Gregory Clark’s hypotheses that the true rate of intergenerational persistence is higher than the observed rate, as high as 0.75, and time‐invariant. Our evidence supports the first but not the other two hypotheses. Second, we test for independent effects of grandparents. We show that the coefficient on grandparent status is positive in a wide class of Markovian models and present evidence against its causal interpretation.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:econjl:v:128:y:2018:i:609:p:576-611.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/ecoj.12453
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Adermon, Adrian & Lindahl, Mikael & Palme, Mårten, 2016. "Dynastic human capital, inequality and intergenerational mobility," Working Paper Series 2016:19, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    3. Valentina S. Consiglio & Denisa M. Sologon, 2019. "The Myth of Equal Opportunity in Germany?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1060, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    4. Aydemir, Abdurrahman B. & Yazici, Hakki, 2019. "Intergenerational education mobility and the level of development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 160-185.
    5. Jan Stuhler, 2018. "A Review of Intergenerational Mobility and its Drivers," JRC Working Papers JRC112247, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    6. Colagrossi, Marco & d'Hombres, Beatrice & Schnepf, Sylke V., 2019. "Like (Grand)Parent, like Child? Multigenerational Mobility across the EU," IZA Discussion Papers 12302, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    7. 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.

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