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Occupational Choice and Incentives: The Role of Family Background

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.

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File URL: http://swopec.hhs.se/iuiwop/papers/iuiwop0539.pdf
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Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 539.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 27 Sep 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0539
Contact details of provider: Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 665 4500
Fax: +46 8 665 4599
Web page: http://www.ifn.se/
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  1. 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 1009-18, December.
  2. Brownstone, David & Train, Kenneth, 1999. "Forecasting new product penetration with flexible substitution patterns," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt3tb6j874, University of California Transportation Center.
  3. Boskin, Michael J, 1974. "A Conditional Logit Model of Occupational Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages 389-98, Part I, M.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 103-22, February.
  7. 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.
  8. Robertson, D. & Symons, J., 1988. "The Occupational Choice Of British Children," Papers 325, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  9. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-89, December.
  10. Casey B. Mulligan, 1999. "Galton versus the Human Capital Approach to Inheritance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S184-S224, December.
  11. 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.
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