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Nonlinear Estimation of Lifetime Intergenerational Economic Mobility and the Role of Education

Author

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  • Paul Gregg

    () (Department of Social and Policy Sciences and Centre for the Analysis of Social Policy, University of Bath)

  • Lindsey Macmillan

    () (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University College London)

  • Claudia Vittori

    () (Department of Social and Policy Sciences and Centre for the Analysis of Social Policy, University of Bath)

Abstract

Previous studies of intergenerational income mobility have typically focused at on estimating persistence across generations at the mean of the distribution of sons' earnings. Here, we use the relatively new unconditional quantile regression (UQR) technique to consider how the association between parental income in childhood and sons' adult earnings vary across the distribution of sons' earnings. We find a J-shaped relationship between parental income and sons' earnings, with parental income a particularly strong predictor of labour market success for those at the bottom, and to a greater extent, the top of the earnings distribution. We explore the potential role of early skills, education and early labour market attachment in this process. Worryingly, we find that education is not as meritocratic as we might hope, with the role of parental income dominating that of education at the top of the distribution of earnings. Early unemployment experience has long-lasting impacts on sorting those at the bottom, alongside parental income.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan & Claudia Vittori, 2015. "Nonlinear Estimation of Lifetime Intergenerational Economic Mobility and the Role of Education," DoQSS Working Papers 15-03, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:1503
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    File URL: http://repec.ioe.ac.uk/REPEc/pdf/qsswp1503.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Michele Raitano & Francesco Vona & Claudia Vittori, 2015. "The effect of parental background along the son's earnings distribution : does one model fit for all?," Sciences Po publications 2015-18, Sciences Po.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational mobility; education; nonlinear;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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