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A test of the Becker-Tomes model of human capital transmission using microdata on four generations

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  • Lindahl, Mikael

    () (Uppsala University, CESifo, IFAU, IZA and UCLS)

  • Palme, Mårten

    () (Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University)

  • Sandgren Massih, Sofia

    (Uppsala University)

  • Sjögren, Anna

    (IFAU, UCLS and SOFI Stockholm University)

Abstract

We estimate the well-known Becker-Tomes (1986) model of intergenerational transmission of human capital. A Swedish data set which links individual measures on educational attainments of four generations, enables us to use great grandparents’ education as an instrumental variable. This approach was suggested already in Becker- Tomes (1986) but, because of the lack of data, never implemented. The identifying assumption, which holds within the Becker-Tomes framework, is that great grandparents’ education is unrelated to great grandchild’s education, conditional on the education of the parent and grandparent. We test the prediction that the structural parameter for grandparents’ education enters with a negative sign in an intergenerational regression model where the education of a child is linearly related to the education of the parent and the education of the grandparent. We fail to find empirical support for the model’s predictions.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindahl, Mikael & Palme, Mårten & Sandgren Massih, Sofia & Sjögren, Anna, 2013. "A test of the Becker-Tomes model of human capital transmission using microdata on four generations," Research Papers in Economics 2013:2, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sunrpe:2013_0002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

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    2. Pablo Celhay & Sebasti�n Gallegos, 2015. "Persistence in the Transmission of Education: Evidence across Three Generations for Chile," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 16(3), pages 420-451, August.
    3. Adrian Adermon & Mikael Lindahl & Daniel Waldenström, 2018. "Intergenerational Wealth Mobility and the Role of Inheritance: Evidence from Multiple Generations," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(612), pages 482-513, July.
    4. Jun, Bogang & Kaltenberg, Mary & Hwang, Won-sik, 2017. "How inequality hurts growth: Revisiting the Galor-Zeira model through a Korean case," MERIT Working Papers 2017-034, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    5. A. Hector Moreno M., 2018. "Good things come in threes: multigenerational transmission of human capital," PSE Working Papers halshs-01945784, HAL.
    6. Juan Cañada Vicinay, 2015. "Coyuntura económica y dotación social en la ecuación intergeneracional de Becker Tomes. Una estimación para España 2002-2013," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 10, in: Marta Rahona López & Jennifer Graves (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 10, edition 1, volume 10, chapter 40, pages 793-810, Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    7. Colagrossi, Marco & d’Hombres, Béatrice & Schnepf, Sylke V, 2020. "Like (grand)parent, like child? Multigenerational mobility across the EU," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).
    8. Mikael Lindahl & Mårten Palme & Sofia Sandgren Massih & Anna Sjögren, 2015. "Long-Term Intergenerational Persistence of Human Capital: An Empirical Analysis of Four Generations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(1), pages 1-33.
    9. Dionissi Aliprantis & Daniel R. Carroll, 2018. "Neighborhood dynamics and the distribution of opportunity," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(1), pages 247-303, March.
    10. Shiue, Carol Hua, 2019. "Social Mobility in the Long Run: A Temporal Analysis of China from 1300 to 1900," CEPR Discussion Papers 13589, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Nicolas Fleury & Fabrice Gilles, 2018. "The intergenerational transmission of education. A meta-regression analysis," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(6), pages 557-573, November.
    12. Kelly Vosters & Jørgen Modalsli, 2019. "Spillover bias in multigenerational income regressions," Discussion Papers 897, Statistics Norway, Research Department.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    The Becker-Tomes model; Human capital transmission; Multigenerational effects;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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