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Like Mother, Like Daughter? SES and the Intergenerational correlation of Traits, Behaviors and Attitudes

Author

Listed:
  • Susan E. Mayer
  • Greg Duncan
  • Ariel Kalil

Abstract

This paper examines the transmission of socioeconomic status from one generation to the next. We use intergenerational data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and its Child Supplement to estimate the effect of parental family SES (income and education) and other family background factors on a broad set of adolescents’ traits, behaviors and attitudes; characteristics that are themselves important predictors of future income and education. Consistent with past research, we find positive and often quite substantial effects of parental family SES and other background factors on these adolescent characteristics. But controlling for an unusually extensive and matched set of maternal characteristics, measured when mothers themselves were adolescents, reduces most of the estimated effects of SES by half or more. We then examine the correlation between mother and daughter traits, behaviors and attitudes and find little support for the proposition that socioeconomic status accounts for an important share of these similarities.

Suggested Citation

  • Susan E. Mayer & Greg Duncan & Ariel Kalil, 2004. "Like Mother, Like Daughter? SES and the Intergenerational correlation of Traits, Behaviors and Attitudes," Working Papers 0415, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:har:wpaper:0415
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    File URL: http://harrisschool.uchicago.edu/about/publications/working-papers/pdf/wp_04_15.pdf
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J., 2011. "Recent Developments in Intergenerational Mobility," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    2. Venke Furre Haaland & Mari Rege & Kjetil Telle & Mark Votruba, 2014. "The intergenerational transfer of the employment gender gap," Discussion Papers 767, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    3. Silke Anger, 2011. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills During Adolescence and Young Adulthood," Working Papers 2011-023, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    4. Anger, Silke & Schnitzlein, Daniel D., 2013. "Like Brother, Like Sister? The Importance of Family Background for Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80052, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Venke Furre Haaland & Mari Rege & Kjetil Telle & Mark Votruba, 2013. "The Intergenerational Transfer of the Gender Gap in Labor Force Participation," CESifo Working Paper Series 4489, CESifo Group Munich.

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