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The Intergenerational Persistence of Lifetime Earnings

  • Hendricks, Lutz A.

This paper proposes a new method for estimating the intergenerational persistence of lifetime earnings from data that contain only short sections of individual earnings histories. The approach infers lifetime earnings persistence from the persistence of short earnings averages together with information about the stochastic process governing individual earnings. I find that lifetime earnings are substantially more persistent than previous estimates based on short panel data suggest. About 54% of lifetime earnings differences between fathers persist into their sons' generation. This persistence estimate exceeds previous estimates based on five year earnings averages by one third. These findings are robust against alternative assumptions about the data generating process for earnings.

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Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 12669.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in European Economic Review, January 2007, vol. 51 no. 1, pp. 125-144
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:12669
Contact details of provider: Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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  1. Glenn R. Hubbard & Jonathan Skinner & Stephen P. Zeldes, . "Precautionary Saving and Social Insurance," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 3-95, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
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  12. Hendricks, Lutz A., 2001. "How Do Taxes Affect Human Capital? The Role of Intergenerational Mobility," Staff General Research Papers 11929, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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  15. Lutz Hendricks, 2001. "Online Appendix to How Do Taxes Affect Human Capital? The Role of Intergenerational Mobility," Technical Appendices hendricks02, Review of Economic Dynamics.
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