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Intergenerational Mobility and Assortative Mating. Effects of an Educational Reform

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  • Holmlund, Helena

    (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)

Abstract

This paper provides new evidence on the role of the educational system for intergenerational mobility. I evaluate an educational reform, implemented in Sweden in the 1950s, which postponed ability tracking and extended compulsory education from seven to nine years. The reform may have influenced intergenerational mobility by several different mechanisms. First, there is the possibility of a direct effect of extending compulsory education. Second, the age at which ability tracking takes place can be crucial for the educational choice. In particular, the earlier the tracking, the more likely it is that the schooling decision is made by the parents. Third, recognizing that economic well-being is determined by the income of the household, assortative mating plays a major role in the mobility process. I argue that the peer group in which couples form can be affected by the educational system, and evaluate how the reform affects intergenerational mobility through changes in assortative mating. Differences-indifferences estimates and sibling-difference estimates indicate that the reform indeed resulted in a sizeable increase in intergenerational income mobility, and in a lower educational association between children and parents. The reform also contributed to reducing the association in education between an individual’s partner and parents, which I interpret as an effect operating through reform effects on mating patterns.

Suggested Citation

  • Holmlund, Helena, 2006. "Intergenerational Mobility and Assortative Mating. Effects of an Educational Reform," Working Paper Series 4/2006, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sofiwp:2006_004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Maia Güell & José V. Rodríguez Mora & Christopher I. Telmer, 2015. "The Informational Content of Surnames, the Evolution of Intergenerational Mobility, and Assortative Mating," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 693-735.
    2. Maia Güell & José V. Rodriguez Mora & Chris Telmer, 2007. "Intergenerational mobility and the informative content of surnames," Economics Working Papers 1042, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    3. Orsetta Causa & Catherine Chapuis, 2009. "Equity in Student Achievement Across OECD Countries: An Investigation of the Role of Policies," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 708, OECD Publishing.
    4. Alessandro Tampieri, 2010. "Sex and the Uni: Higher Education Effects in Job and Marital Satisfaction," Discussion Papers in Economics 10/07, Department of Economics, University of Leicester, revised Sep 2010.
    5. Helena Holmlund & Mikael Lindahl & Erik Plug, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Parents' Schooling on Children's Schooling: A Comparison of Estimation Methods," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 615-651.
    6. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J., 2011. "Recent Developments in Intergenerational Mobility," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    7. Helena Holmlund & Mikael Lindahl & Erik Plug, 2011. "The Causal Effect of Parents' Schooling on Children's Schooling: A Comparison of Estimation Methods," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 615-651.
    8. Raaum Oddbjørn & Bratsberg Bernt & Røed Knut & Österbacka Eva & Eriksson Tor & Jäntti Markus & Naylor Robin A, 2008. "Marital Sorting, Household Labor Supply, and Intergenerational Earnings Mobility across Countries," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, pages 1-49.
    9. Handy, Christopher, 2014. "Assortative Mating and Intergenerational Persistence of Schooling and Earnings," MPRA Paper 63829, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Sari Pekkala Kerr & Tuomas Pekkarinen & Roope Uusitalo, 2013. "School Tracking and Development of Cognitive Skills," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(3), pages 577-602.
    11. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:59:y:2017:i:c:p:1-12 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Kelly LABAR, 2007. "Intergenerational Mobility in China," Working Papers 200729, CERDI.
    13. Mendolia, Silvia & Siminski, Peter, 2016. "Does Family Background Affect Earnings through Education? A Generalised Approach to Mediation Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 9917, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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    Keywords

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    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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