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Three-generation Mobility in the United States, 1850-1940: The Role of Maternal and Paternal Grandparents

Author

Listed:
  • Claudia Olivetti

    () (Boston College
    NBER)

  • M. Daniele Paserman

    (Boston University
    NBER)

  • Laura Salisbury

    (York University
    NBER)

Abstract

This paper estimates intergenerational elasticities across three generations in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We extend the methodology in Olivetti and Paserman (2015) to explore the role of maternal and paternal grandfathers for the transmission of economic status to grandsons and granddaughters. We document three main findings. First, grandfathers matter for income transmission, above and beyond their effect on fathers’ income. Second, the socio-economic status of grandsons is influenced more strongly by paternal grandfathers than by maternal grand- fathers. Third, maternal grandfathers are more important for granddaughters than for grandsons, while the opposite is true for paternal grandfathers. We present a model of multi-trait matching and inheritance that can rationalize these findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudia Olivetti & M. Daniele Paserman & Laura Salisbury, 2016. "Three-generation Mobility in the United States, 1850-1940: The Role of Maternal and Paternal Grandparents," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 903, Boston College Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:903
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Adrian Adermon & Mikael Lindahl & Daniel Waldenström, 2018. "Intergenerational Wealth Mobility and the Role of Inheritance: Evidence from Multiple Generations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(612), pages 482-513, July.
    2. Kelly Vosters & Jørgen Modalsli, 2019. "Spillover bias in multigenerational income regressions," Discussion Papers 897, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    3. Marianna Kudlyak & Andra C. Ghent, 2015. "Intergenerational Linkages in Household Credit," Working Paper 15-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, revised 05 Nov 2015.
    4. Inwood, Kris & Minns, Chris & Summerfield, Fraser, 2019. "Occupational income scores and immigrant assimilation. Evidence from the Canadian census," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 114-122.
    5. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Platt Boustan & Elisa Jácome & Santiago Pérez, 2019. "Intergenerational Mobility of Immigrants in the US over Two Centuries," NBER Working Papers 26408, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Bazzi, Samuel & Fiszbein, Martin & Gebresilasse, Mesay, 2017. "Frontier Culture: The Roots and Persistence of Rugged Individualism in the United States," CEPR Discussion Papers 12406, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Anke Becker, 2019. "On the Economic Origins of Restrictions on Women's Sexuality," CESifo Working Paper Series 7770, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. 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.
    9. John Komlos, 2016. "Unemployment in a Just Economy," CESifo Working Paper Series 5974, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational Mobility; Multiple Generations; Gender; Marriage; Assortative Mating;

    JEL classification:

    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure

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