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Intergenerational Economic Mobility and Assortative Mating

  • Ermisch, John


    (University of Oxford)

  • Francesconi, Marco


    (University of Essex)

  • Siedler, Thomas


    (University of Hamburg)

We use data from the German Socio-Economic Panel and the British Household Panel Survey to estimate the extent of intergenerational economic mobility in a framework that highlights the role played by assortative mating. We find that assortative mating plays an important role. On average about 40-50% of the covariance between parents' and own permanent family income can be attributed to the person to whom one is married. This effect is driven by strong spouse correlations in human capital, which are larger in Germany than Britain.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1847.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Economic Journal, 2006, 116 (513), 659-679
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1847
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  29. David Lam, 1988. "Marriage Markets and Assortative Mating with Household Public Goods: Theoretical Results and Empirical Implications," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(4), pages 462-487.
  30. Alexandra L. Minicozzi, 2003. "Estimation of sons' intergenerational earnings mobility in the presence of censoring," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(3), pages 291-314.
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