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Intergenerational Mobility and Assortative Mating: Effects of an Educational Reform

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  • Helena Holmlund

Abstract

This paper provides new evidence on the role of the educational system for intergenerational mobility. I evaluate an educational reform, implemented in Sweden in the 1950s and 60s, which postponed tracking and extended compulsory education from seven to nine years. The reform may have influenced intergenerational mobility through several different channels. First, it is likely that the reform increased education more for children from low educated households, compared to those children with more educated parents. Second, postponing tracking to higher ages is likely to reduce the parental influence in the educational choice, which may weaken the intergenerational economic link between children and their parents. And finally, recognizing that economic well-being is determined by the income of the household, and that assortative mating plays a major role in the mobility process, I examine how the reform has affected mobility through changes in marital sorting. The underlying hypothesis is that the peer group in which couples form can be affected by the educational system. Differences-in-differences estimates and sibling-difference estimates indicate that the reform indeed resulted in a sizeable increase in intergenerational income mobility, but effects operating through marital sorting seem to play a minor role.

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  • Helena Holmlund, 2008. "Intergenerational Mobility and Assortative Mating: Effects of an Educational Reform," CEE Discussion Papers 0091, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:ceedps:0091
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    Cited by:

    1. Marie Baguet & Céline Lecavelier des Etangs-Levallois, 2017. "Instrumenting education in France: Using May 1968 events as a natural experiment?," THEMA Working Papers 2017-13, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    2. Maia Güell & José V. Rodríguez Mora & Christopher I. Telmer, 2015. "The Informational Content of Surnames, the Evolution of Intergenerational Mobility, and Assortative Mating," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 693-735.
    3. Timo Hener & Tanya Wilson, 2018. "Marital Age Gaps and Educational Homogamy – Evidence from a Compulsory Schooling Reform in the UK," ifo Working Paper Series 256, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    4. Helena Holmlund & Mikael Lindahl & Erik Plug, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Parents' Schooling on Children's Schooling: A Comparison of Estimation Methods," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(3), pages 615-651, September.
    5. Nicolas Fleury & Fabrice Gilles, 2015. "A meta-regression analysis on intergenerational transmission of education: publication bias and genuine empirical effect," TEPP Working Paper 2015-02, TEPP.
    6. Maia Güell & José V. Rodríguez Mora & Christopher I. Telmer, 2014. "Intergenerational Mobility and the Informational Content of Surnames," Working Papers 2014-01, FEDEA.
    7. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J., 2011. "Recent Developments in Intergenerational Mobility," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 16, pages 1487-1541, Elsevier.
    8. Kelly Labart, 2011. "Intergenerational Mobility in China," CERDI Working papers halshs-00556982, HAL.
    9. Raaum Oddbjørn & Bratsberg Bernt & Røed Knut & Österbacka Eva & Eriksson Tor & Jäntti Markus & Naylor Robin A, 2008. "Marital Sorting, Household Labor Supply, and Intergenerational Earnings Mobility across Countries," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-49, January.
    10. Sari Pekkala Kerr & Tuomas Pekkarinen & Roope Uusitalo, 2013. "School Tracking and Development of Cognitive Skills," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(3), pages 577-602.
    11. Mendolia, Silvia & Siminski, Peter, 2017. "Is education the mechanism through which family background affects economic outcomes? A generalised approach to mediation analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 1-12.
    12. Maia Güell & José V. Rodriguez Mora & Chris Telmer, 2007. "Intergenerational mobility and the informative content of surnames," Economics Working Papers 1042, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    13. Kelly LABAR, 2007. "Intergenerational Mobility in China," Working Papers 200729, CERDI.
    14. Mendolia, Silvia & Siminski, Peter, 2016. "Does Family Background Affect Earnings through Education? A Generalised Approach to Mediation Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 9917, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Orsetta Causa & Catherine Chapuis, 2009. "Equity in Student Achievement Across OECD Countries: An Investigation of the Role of Policies," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 708, OECD Publishing.
    16. Alessandro Tampieri, 2010. "Sex and the Uni: Higher Education Effects in Job and Marital Satisfaction," Discussion Papers in Economics 10/07, Division of Economics, School of Business, University of Leicester, revised Sep 2010.
    17. Handy, Christopher, 2014. "Assortative Mating and Intergenerational Persistence of Schooling and Earnings," MPRA Paper 63829, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Wenya Cheng, 2017. "The impact of parental education on children’s outcomes in China," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(4), pages 423-436, October.
    19. Anna Christina D'Addio, 2007. "Intergenerational Transmission of Disadvantage: Mobility or Immobility Across Generations?," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 52, OECD Publishing.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational mobility; education; assortative mating;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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