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Like Father, Like Son: Labor Market Networks and Social Mobility


  • Antoni Calvó-Armengol
  • Matthew O. Jackson


We build a model where investments in human capital depend on the state of an individual's social network. We show that correlation patterns between parents' and children's human capital investment and income depend on the structure of their social network. Heavier reliance on the social network increases the correlation of human capital investments and income across generations and decreases the efficiency of their investment decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Antoni Calvó-Armengol & Matthew O. Jackson, 2004. "Like Father, Like Son: Labor Market Networks and Social Mobility," Working Papers 179, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:179

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dearden, Lorraine & Machin, Stephen & Reed, Howard, 1997. "Intergenerational Mobility in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 47-66, January.
    2. Pedro Carneiro & James J. Heckman, 2002. "The Evidence on Credit Constraints in Post--secondary Schooling," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 705-734, October.
    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.
    4. Datcher, Linda P, 1982. "Effects of Community and Family Background on Achievement," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(1), pages 32-41, February.
    5. Amitabh Chandra, 2000. "Labor-Market Dropouts and the Racial Wage Gap: 1940-1990," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 333-338, May.
    6. Anders Björklund & Markus Jäntti, 2000. "Intergenerational mobility of socio-economic status in comparative perspective," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 26, pages 3-32.
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    More about this item


    Social Mobility; Networks; labor markets; human capital;

    JEL classification:

    • A14 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Sociology of Economics
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J70 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - General


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