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The Decline in Intergenerational Mobility After 1980

Author

Listed:
  • Davis, Jonathan

    (University of Chicago)

  • Mazumder, Bhashkar

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

Abstract

We demonstrate that intergenerational mobility declined sharply for cohorts born between 1957 and 1964 compared to those born between 1942 and 1953. The former entered the labor market largely after the large rise in inequality that occurred around 1980 while the latter entered the labor market before this inflection point. We show that the rank-rank slope rose from 0.27 to 0.4 and the IGE rose from 0.35 to 0.51. The share of children whose income exceeds that of their parents fell by about 3 percentage points. These findings suggest that relative mobility fell by substantially more than absolute mobility.

Suggested Citation

  • Davis, Jonathan & Mazumder, Bhashkar, 2017. "The Decline in Intergenerational Mobility After 1980," Working Paper Series WP-2017-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-2017-05
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Raj Chetty & David Grusky & Maximilian Hell & Nathaniel Hendren & Robert Manduca & Jimmy Narang, 2016. "The Fading American Dream: Trends in Absolute Income Mobility Since 1940," NBER Working Papers 22910, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Thomas Piketty & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "Income Inequality in the United States, 1913–1998," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(1), pages 1-41.
    3. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 1999. "The Returns to Skill in the United States across the Twentieth Century," NBER Working Papers 7126, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Rania Gihleb, 2014. "Educational Homogamy and Assortative Mating Have Not Increased," Working Paper 6052, Department of Economics, University of Pittsburgh.
    5. Nybom, Martin & Stuhler, Jan, 2014. "Interpreting Trends in Intergenerational Mobility," Working Paper Series 3/2014, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    6. Raj Chetty & Nathaniel Hendren & Patrick Kline & Emmanuel Saez, 2014. "Where is the land of Opportunity? The Geography of Intergenerational Mobility in the United States," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(4), pages 1553-1623.
    7. repec:hrv:faseco:30750027 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Daniel Aaronson & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2008. "Intergenerational Economic Mobility in the United States, 1940 to 2000," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
    9. Wojciech Kopczuk & Emmanuel Saez & Jae Song, 2010. "Earnings Inequality and Mobility in the United States: Evidence from Social Security Data Since 1937," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 91-128.
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    Cited by:

    1. Steven N. Durlauf & Ananth Seshadri, 2017. "Understanding the Great Gatsby Curve," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2017, volume 32, pages 333-393 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational mobility; income; labor market;

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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