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Explaining Intergenerational Mobility: The Role of Fertility and Family Transfers

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  • Diego Daruich
  • Julian Kozlowski

Abstract

Poor families have more children and transfer less resources to them. This suggests that family decisions about fertility and transfers dampen intergenerational mobility. To evaluate the quantitative importance of this mechanism, we extend the standard heterogeneous agent life cycle model with earnings risk and credit constraints to allow for endogenous fertility, family transfers, and education. The model, estimated to the US in the 2000s, implies that a counterfactual flat income-fertility profile would-through the equalization of initial conditions-increase intergenerational mobility by 6%. The impact of a counterfactual constant transfer per child is twice as large.

Suggested Citation

  • Diego Daruich & Julian Kozlowski, 2016. "Explaining Intergenerational Mobility: The Role of Fertility and Family Transfers," Working Papers 2018-011, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2018-011
    DOI: 10.20955/wp.2018.011
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    Keywords

    Inequality; Intergenerational mobility; Fertility;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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