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Occupational Choice and Incentives: The Role of Family Background

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Abstract

A model of occupational choice and human capital investment is developed and tested. The model allows family background to influence occupational choice via access to economic resources, differences in costs of schooling, and ability uncertainty. The model predicts that people are more sensitive to economic incentives when considering occupations that are different from the parental occupation. It also predicts that the occupational choice of individuals from poor background is more sensitive to economic incentives than the occupational choice of well off individuals. These implications are confirmed on Swedish data using a mixed multinomial logit framework, explicitly accounting for unobserved heterogeneity.

Suggested Citation

  • Sjögren, Anna, 2000. "Occupational Choice and Incentives: The Role of Family Background," Working Paper Series 539, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0539
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    File URL: http://swopec.hhs.se/iuiwop/papers/iuiwop0539.pdf
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    1. Willis, Robert J., 1987. "Wage determinants: A survey and reinterpretation of human capital earnings functions," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 525-602 Elsevier.
    2. Solon, Gary, 1999. "Intergenerational mobility in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 29, pages 1761-1800 Elsevier.
    3. 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.
    4. Casey B. Mulligan, 1999. "Galton versus the Human Capital Approach to Inheritance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 184-224, December.
    5. Robertson, Donald & Symons, James, 1990. "The Occupational Choice of British Children," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(402), pages 828-841, September.
    6. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
    7. Brownstone, David & Train, Kenneth, 1998. "Forecasting new product penetration with flexible substitution patterns," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1-2), pages 109-129, November.
    8. Orazem, Peter F & Mattila, J Peter, 1991. "Human Capital, Uncertain Wage Distributions, and Occupational and Educational Choices," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(1), pages 103-122, February.
    9. Boskin, Michael J, 1974. "A Conditional Logit Model of Occupational Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 389-398, Part I, M.
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    11. Bjorklund, Anders & Jantti, Markus, 1997. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in Sweden Compared to the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1009-1018, December.
    12. A. D. Roy, 1951. "Some Thoughts On The Distribution Of Earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 135-146.
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    Cited by:

    1. Haupt, Alexander, 2012. "The evolution of public spending on higher education in a democracy," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 557-573.
    2. Eliasson, Kent, 2006. "The Effects of Accessibility to University Education on Enrollment Decisions, Geographical Mobility, and Social Recruitment," Umeå Economic Studies 690, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
    3. Emran, M. Shabe & Otsuka, Misuzu & Shilpi, Forhad, 2003. "Gender, generations, and nonfarm participation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3087, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic incentives; Family background; Intergenerational mobility; Mixed multinomial logit; Occupational choice;

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • 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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