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Choosing the Right Parents: Changes in the Intergenerational Transmission of Inequality Between the 1970s and the Early 1990s

  • Levine, D.I.

This paper uses the General Social Survey and the comparison between the National Longitudinal Surveys of Young Men and of Youth to measure how returns to young men's family background have changed from the late 1970s to the late 1980s and early 1990s. Coming from a wealth family and having a well-educated father who worked in a high-prestige occupation were much more powerfull predictors of a young man's success in the later period. In contrast, maternal education was less important in determining a young man's income and education attainment.

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Paper provided by California Berkeley - Institute of Industrial Relations in its series Papers with number 72.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:calbir:72
Contact details of provider: Postal: U.S.A.; University of california Berkeley, The Institute of Industrial Relations. 2521 Channing Way. Berkeley California 94520-5555

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  1. Levy, Frank & Murnane, Richard J, 1992. "U.S. Earnings Levels and Earnings Inequality: A Review of Recent Trends and Proposed Explanations," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(3), pages 1333-81, September.
  2. Gaviria, Alejandro, 1998. "Intergenerational Mobility, Siblings' Inequality and Borrowing Constraints," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt8x16c72b, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  3. Zimmerman, David J, 1992. "Regression toward Mediocrity in Economic Stature," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 409-29, June.
  4. Gintis, Herbert, 1971. "Education, Technology, and the Characteristics of Worker Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(2), pages 266-79, May.
  5. Peters, H Elizabeth, 1992. "Patterns of Intergenerational Mobility in Income and Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(3), pages 456-66, August.
  6. Goldberger, Arthur S, 1989. "Economic and Mechanical Models of Intergenerational Transmission," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 504-13, June.
  7. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
  8. Dominic J. Brewer & Eric Eide & Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 1996. "Does It Pay To Attend An Elite Private College? Cross Cohort Evidence on the Effects of College Quality on Earnings," NBER Working Papers 5613, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. A. B. Atkinson, 1981. "On Intergenerational Income Mobility in Britain," Journal of Post Keynesian Economics, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 3(2), pages 194-218, January.
  10. Michael Kremer, 1996. "How Much Does Sorting Increase Inequality?," NBER Working Papers 5566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Joseph G. Altonji & Thomas A. Dunn, 1991. "Relationships Among the Family Incomes and Labor Market Outcomes of Relatives," NBER Working Papers 3724, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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