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The Intergenerational Persistence of Lifetime Earnings

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  • Hendricks, Lutz A.

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Hendricks, Lutz A., 2007. "The Intergenerational Persistence of Lifetime Earnings," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12669, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:12669
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    1. Grawe, Nathan D., 2003. "Life Cycle Bias in the Estimation of Intergenerational Earnings Persistence," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2003207e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
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    11. Lutz Hendricks, 2001. "How Do Taxes Affect Human Capital? The Role of Intergenerational Mobility," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 4(3), pages 695-735, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kirchsteiger, Georg & Sebald, Alexander, 2010. "Investments into education--Doing as the parents did," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 501-516, May.
    2. Hendricks, Lutz, 2007. "How important is discount rate heterogeneity for wealth inequality?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(9), pages 3042-3068, September.
    3. Munk, Martin D. & Bonke, Jens & Hussain, M. Azhar, 2016. "Intergenerational top income persistence: Denmark half the size of Sweden," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 31-33.
    4. Christopher Tamborini & ChangHwan Kim & Arthur Sakamoto, 2015. "Education and Lifetime Earnings in the United States," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(4), pages 1383-1407, August.
    5. Gimenez-Nadal, J. Ignacio & Molina, José Alberto & Zhu, Yu, 2014. "Intergenerational Mobility of Housework Time in the United Kingdom," IZA Discussion Papers 8674, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Anna Christina D'Addio, 2007. "Intergenerational Transmission of Disadvantage: Mobility or Immobility Across Generations?," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 52, OECD Publishing.

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