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The effects of measurement error and omitted variables when using transition matrices to measure intergenerational mobility

  • O’NEILL, Donal
  • SWEETMAN, Olive
  • VAN DE GAER, Dirk

This paper examines the consequences of specification error when transition matrices are used to analyse patterns of intergenerational mobility. We show that classical measurement error in both the child’s and parent’s earnings can lead to biased results, with summary mobility measures biased by as much as 20% in some cases. Furthermore our results suggest that the extent of the bias is most severe in the tails of the distribution. Omitted conditioning variables appear to have a modest effect on transition matrices in our model. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2007

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File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10888-006-9035-7
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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers RP with number 1962.

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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvrp:1962
Note: In : Journal of Economic Inequal, 5, 159-178, 2007
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  1. Heisz, Andrew & Corak, Miles, 1996. "The Intergenerational Income Mobility of Canadian Men," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1996089e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  2. Ramses H. Abul Naga, 1999. "Estimating the Intergenerational Correlation of Incomes: An Errors in Variables Framework," STICERD - Distributional Analysis Research Programme Papers 44, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  3. D. O'Neill & Sweetman. O. & Van de gaer D., 2005. "The Consequences of Non-Classical Measurement Error for Distributional Analysis," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n1490205, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  4. Thierry Magnac & Michael Visser, 1999. "Transition Models With Measurement Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 466-474, August.
  5. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, . "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 84-10, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  6. Shorrocks, A F, 1978. "The Measurement of Mobility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1013-24, September.
  7. 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).
  8. Solon, Gary, 1999. "Intergenerational mobility in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 29, pages 1761-1800 Elsevier.
  9. Steven Haider & Gary Solon, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variation in the Association between Current and Lifetime Earnings," NBER Working Papers 11943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Zimmerman, David J, 1992. "Regression toward Mediocrity in Economic Stature," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 409-29, June.
  11. Gary Solon, 2002. "Cross-Country Differences in Intergenerational Earnings Mobility," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 59-66, Summer.
  12. Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1995. "Measurement Error and Earnings Dynamics: Some Estimates from the PSID Validation Study," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(3), pages 305-14, July.
  13. Dearden, Lorraine & Machin, Stephen & Reed, Howard, 1997. "Intergenerational Mobility in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 47-66, January.
  14. Bhashkar Mazumder, 2005. "Fortunate Sons: New Estimates of Intergenerational Mobility in the United States Using Social Security Earnings Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 235-255, May.
  15. Miles Corak & Andrew Heisz, 1998. "The Intergenerational Earnings and Income Mobility of Canadian," Labor and Demography 9808001, EconWPA.
  16. Grawe, Nathan D., 2006. "Lifecycle bias in estimates of intergenerational earnings persistence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(5), pages 551-570, October.
  17. Bonggeun Kim & Gary Solon, 2005. "Implications of Mean-Reverting Measurement Error for Longitudinal Studies of Wages and Employment," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 193-196, February.
  18. Daniele Checchi & Valentino Dardanoni, 2002. "Mobility comparisons: does using different measures matter?," Departmental Working Papers 2002-15, Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods at Università degli Studi di Milano.
  19. Bound, John & Brown, Charles & Mathiowetz, Nancy, 2001. "Measurement error in survey data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 59, pages 3705-3843 Elsevier.
  20. Nathan D. Grawe & Casey B. Mulligan, 2002. "Economic Interpretations of Intergenerational Correlations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 45-58, Summer.
  21. Richard Breen & Pasi Moisio, 2004. "Poverty dynamics corrected for measurement error," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 2(3), pages 171-191, July.
  22. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
  23. Alexandra L. Minicozzi, 2003. "Estimation of sons' intergenerational earnings mobility in the presence of censoring," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(3), pages 291-314.
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