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Work Attitudes and Intergenerational Mobility

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  • Mark Gradstein

Abstract

The phenomenon of systemic changes in the fortunes of social groups is hard to reconcile with traditional macroeconomic models of intergenerational income mobility. This paper, therefore, proposes a theory of intergenerational mobility whereby instilling strict work attitudes is an instrument to address moral hazard in poor families more so than in rich families, which is consistent with empirical regularities pertaining to work attitudes. The mechanism implies that hard-working children of the poor converge to and may eventually overtake leisure-prone children of the rich. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

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  • Mark Gradstein, 2009. "Work Attitudes and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(3), pages 268-288.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jhucap:v:3:y:2009:i:3:p:268-288
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/649556
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Carliner, Geoffrey, 1980. "Wages, Earnings and Hours of First, Second, and Third Generation American Males," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(1), pages 87-102, January.
    2. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2007. "What Do Parents Value in Education? An Empirical Investigation of Parents' Revealed Preferences for Teachers," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1603-1637.
    3. Bjorklund, Anders & Jantti, Markus, 1997. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in Sweden Compared to the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1009-1018, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Corneo, Giacomo, 2013. "Work norms, social insurance and the allocation of talent," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 79-92.
    2. Giacomo Corneo & Frank Neher, 2014. "Income inequality and self-reported values," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 12(1), pages 49-71, March.
    3. Corneo, Giacomo, 2012. "Social insurance, work norms, and the allocation of talent," CEPR Discussion Papers 9028, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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