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Reconsidering the Use of Nonlinearities in Intergenerational Earnings Mobility as a Test for Credit Constraints

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  • Nathan D. Grawe

Abstract

Intergenerational earnings regression among Canadian men is nonlinear; middle-earning families experience slower regression. This pattern appears to confirm economic models of educational choice with credit constraints. This paper reexamines the economic model and finds no connection between credit markets and earnings regression nonlinearities. In particular, credit constraints need not produce concavity and concavity does not imply credit market failure. Despite the invalidity of the test, data availability will likely lead to continued research along this path. The paper proposes an amended test using quantile regressions. Applied to Canadian data, the simple liquidity constraint conclusion is rejected.

Suggested Citation

  • Nathan D. Grawe, 2004. "Reconsidering the Use of Nonlinearities in Intergenerational Earnings Mobility as a Test for Credit Constraints," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(3).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:39:y:2004:i:3:p813-827
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    1. Han, Song & Mulligan, Casey B, 2001. "Human Capital, Heterogeneity and Estimated Degrees of Intergenerational Mobility," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 207-243, April.
    2. Grawe, Nathan D., 2001. "In Search of Intergenerational Credit Constraints Among Canadian Men: Quantile Versus Mean Regression Tests for Binding Credit Constraints," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2001158e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
    3. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
    4. Becker, Gary S, 1989. "On the Economics of the Family: Reply to a Skeptic," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 514-518, June.
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