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Intergenerational Economic Mobility and Assortative Mating

  • John Ermisch
  • Marco Francesconi
  • Thomas Siedler

We use data from the German Socio-Economic Panel and the British Household Panel Survey to estimate the extent of intergenerational economic mobility in a framework that highlights the role played by assortative mating. We find that assortative mating plays an important role. On average about 40-50 percent of the covariancebetween parents' and own permanent family income can be attributed to the person to whom one is married. This effect is driven by strong spouse correlations in human capital.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.42569.de/dp448.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 448.

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Length: 30 p.
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp448
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  1. Jo Blanden & Alissa Goodman & Paul Gregg & Stephen Machin, 2002. "Changes in Intergenerational Mobility in Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0517, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Casey B. Mulligan, 1999. "Galton versus the Human Capital Approach to Inheritance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S184-S224, December.
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  8. Michael Kremer, 1996. "How Much Does Sorting Increase Inequality?," NBER Working Papers 5566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  10. Behrman, Jere R & Taubman, Paul, 1990. "The Intergenerational Correlation between Children's Adult Earnings and Their Parents' Income: Result from the Michigan Panel Survey of Income Dynamics," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 36(2), pages 115-27, June.
  11. Laura Chadwick & Gary Solon, 2002. "Intergenerational Income Mobility Among Daughters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 335-344, March.
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  17. 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.
  18. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1986. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S1-39, July.
  19. Jenkins, Stephen P. & Schluter, Christian, 2002. "The Effect of Family Income During Childhood on Later-Life Attainment: Evidence from Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 604, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  25. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
  26. Christian Dustmann, 2004. "Parental background, secondary school track choice, and wages," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 209-230, April.
  27. Cheti Nicoletti & Marco Francesconi, 2006. "Intergenerational mobility and sample selection in short panels," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(8), pages 1265-1293.
  28. 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.
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