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Intergenerational Transmission of Educational Attainment in Germany: The Last Five Decades

  • Guido Heineck
  • Regina T. Riphahn

Over the last decades the German education system underwent numerous reforms in order to improve "equality of opportunity", i.e. to guarantee all pupils equal access to higher education. At the same time internationally comparative evidence yields that Germany features particularly low intergenerational mobility with respect to educational attainment. This study investigates the development in intergenerational education mobility in Germany for the birth cohorts 1929 through 1978 and tests whether the impact of parental background on child educational outcomes changed over time. In spite of massive public policy interventions and education reforms our results yield no significant reduction in the role of parental background for child outcomes over the last decades.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.74360.de/dp738.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 738.

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Length: 39 p.
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp738
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  1. Gabriela Schütz & Heinrich Ursprung & Ludger Woessmann, 2005. "Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity," CESifo Working Paper Series 1518, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Gernandt, Johannes & Pfeiffer, Friedhelm, 2006. "Rising Wage Inequality in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 06-19 [rev.], ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  3. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 1998. "Life Cycle Schooling and Dynamic Selection Bias: Models and Evidence for Five Cohorts," NBER Working Papers 6385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Steve Machin & Anna Vignoles, 2004. "Educational inequality: the widening socio-economic gap," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 25(2), pages 107-128, June.
  5. Fernando Galindo-Rueda & Anna Vignoles, 2004. "The Declining Relative Importance Of Ability In Predicting Educational Attainment," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2004 40, Royal Economic Society.
  6. Ai, Chunrong & Norton, Edward C., 2003. "Interaction terms in logit and probit models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 123-129, July.
  7. Bauer, Philipp C. & Riphahn, Regina T., 2004. "Heterogeneity in the Intergenerational Transmission of Educational Attainment: Evidence from Switzerland on Natives and Second Generation Immigrants," IZA Discussion Papers 1354, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Kenneth A. Couch & Thomas A. Dunn, 1997. "Intergenerational Correlations in Labor Market Status: A Comparison of the United States and Germany," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(1), pages 210-232.
  9. Jo Blanden & Stephen Machin, 2004. "Educational Inequality and the Expansion of UK Higher Education," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 51(2), pages 230-249, 05.
  10. Boockmann, Bernhard & Steiner, Viktor, 2000. "Cohort effects and the returns to education in West Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 00-05, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  11. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2005. "Why the Apple Doesn't Fall Far: Understanding Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 437-449, March.
  12. Regina T. Riphahn, 2012. "Effect of Secondary School Fees on Educational Attainment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(1), pages 148-176, 03.
  13. James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 31-47, May.
  14. Ermisch, John F & Francesconi, Marco, 1997. "Family Matters," CEPR Discussion Papers 1591, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Woessmann, Ludger, 2004. "How Equal Are Educational Opportunities? Family Background and Student Achievement in Europe and the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 1284, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Arnaud Chevalier & Kevin Denny & Dorren McMahon, 2003. "A Multi-Country Study of Inter-Generational Educational Mobility," Working Papers 200314, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  17. Piketty, Thomas, 2000. "Theories of persistent inequality and intergenerational mobility," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 429-476 Elsevier.
  18. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Stephen Machin, 2003. "Changes in Educational Inequality," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 03/079, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  19. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 257-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  21. Lorraine Dearden & Stephen Machin & H Reed, 1996. "Intergenerational Mobility in Britain," CEP Discussion Papers dp0281, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  22. Anton L. Flossmann & Winfried Pohlmeier, 2006. "Casual Returns to Education: A Survey on Empirical Evidence for Germany," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), Justus-Liebig University Giessen, Department of Statistics and Economics, vol. 226(1), pages 6-23, January.
  23. Bruce Sacerdote, 2000. "The Nature and Nurture of Economic Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 7949, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Ermisch, John & Francesconi, Marco, 2001. "Family Matters: Impacts of Family Background on Educational Attainments," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(270), pages 137-56, May.
  25. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 2002. "The Inheritance of Inequality," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 3-30, Summer.
  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. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 1998. "Life Cycle Schooling and Dynamic Selection Bias: Models and Evidence for Five Cohorts of American Males," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(2), pages 262-333, April.
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