IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/uwo/epuwoc/20024.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Intergenerational Persistence of Earnings: The Role of Early and College Education

Author

Listed:
  • Diego Restuccia

    (University of Toronto)

  • Carlos Urrutia

    (Centro de Investigación Económica, ITAM; Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)

Abstract

Recent empirical studies show that the intergenerational persistence of economic status in the U.S. is much higher than previously thought. We develop a quantitative theory of inequality and intergenerational transmission of human capital where parents invest in early and college education of their children subject to borrowing constraints. Children differ exogenously in innate abilities, which can be correlated with their parent's innate ability. An important feature of the environment is that the quality of early education determines the probability of college completion. We calibrate a stationary equilibrium of this economy to relevant statistics in aggregate U.S. data, and use it to investigate the sources of inequality and persistence in earnings. In our benchmark model, about half of the intergenerational persistence and one fourth of the inequality in earnings are accounted for by endogenous investments in education. We find that early investments in education account for most of the endogenous persistence in earnings, while college education generates most of the endogenous inequality in earnings. Our theory is suited to study the effect of educational policies on the persistence of inequality. We show that public resources devoted to early education have the largest impact on earnings mobility. Moreover, non-progressive college subsidies generate more intergenerational persistence of earnings.

Suggested Citation

  • Diego Restuccia & Carlos Urrutia, 2002. "Intergenerational Persistence of Earnings: The Role of Early and College Education," University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers 20024, University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwo:epuwoc:20024
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://ir.lib.uwo.ca/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1003&context=economicsepri_wp
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Willis, Robert J & Rosen, Sherwin, 1979. "Education and Self-Selection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 7-36, October.
    2. Erosa, Andres & Koreshkova, Tatyana, 2007. "Progressive taxation in a dynastic model of human capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 667-685, April.
    3. S. Rao Aiyagari & Jeremy Greenwood & Nezih Guner, 2000. "On the State of the Union," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(2), pages 213-244, April.
    4. Erik Plug & Wim Vijverberg, 2003. "Schooling, Family Background, and Adoption: Is It Nature or Is It Nurture?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(3), pages 611-641, June.
    5. Miles Corak & Andrew Heisz, 1999. "The Intergenerational Earnings and Income Mobility of Canadian Men: Evidence from Longitudinal Income Tax Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(3), pages 504-533.
    6. Pedro Carneiro & James J. Heckman, 2002. "The Evidence on Credit Constraints in Post--secondary Schooling," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 705-734, October.
    7. repec:fth:prinin:366 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Solon, Gary, 1999. "Intergenerational mobility in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 29, pages 1761-1800, Elsevier.
    9. Raquel Fernández & Richard Rogerson, 2001. "Sorting and Long-Run Inequality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(4), pages 1305-1341.
    10. Bruce Sacerdote, 2002. "The Nature and Nurture of Economic Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 344-348, May.
    11. James Heckman, 2011. "Policies to foster human capital," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 3, pages 73-137.
    12. Tauchen, George, 1986. "Finite state markov-chain approximations to univariate and vector autoregressions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 177-181.
    13. Casey B. Mulligan, 1999. "Galton versus the Human Capital Approach to Inheritance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages 184-224, December.
    14. Loury, Glenn C, 1981. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Distribution of Earnings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 843-867, June.
    15. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1996. "School Resources and Student Outcomes: An Overview of the Literature and New Evidence from North and South Carolina," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 31-50, Fall.
    16. Robert Haveman & Barbara Wolfe, 1995. "The Determinants of Children's Attainments: A Review of Methods and Findings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(4), pages 1829-1878, December.
    17. Caucutt, Elizabeth M. & Kumar, Krishna B., 2003. "Higher education subsidies and heterogeneity: a dynamic analysis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 1459-1502, June.
    18. Michael P. Keane & Eswar S. Prasad, 2002. "Inequality, Transfers, And Growth: New Evidence From The Economic Transition In Poland," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 324-341, May.
    19. Cecilia Garcia-Penalosa & Eve Caroli & Philippe Aghion, 1999. "Inequality and Economic Growth: The Perspective of the New Growth Theories," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1615-1660, December.
    20. Roland Benabou, 1996. "Inequality and Growth," LIS Working papers 142, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    21. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 1999. "Early Test Scores, Socioeconomic Status and Future Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 6943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Neal, Derek A & Johnson, William R, 1996. "The Role of Premarket Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 869-895, October.
    23. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    24. Hubbard, R. Glenn & Skinner, Jonathan & Zeldes, Stephen P., 1994. "The importance of precautionary motives in explaining individual and aggregate saving," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 59-125, June.
    25. Peter Gottschalk & Robert Moffitt, 1994. "The Growth of Earnings Instability in the U.S. Labor Market," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 217-272.
    26. Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd R. Stinebrickner, 2003. "Understanding Educational Outcomes of Students from Low-Income Families: Evidence from a Liberal Arts College with a Full Tuition Subsidy Program," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 38(3).
    27. Ana Castaneda & Javier Diaz-Gimenez & Jose-Victor Rios-Rull, 2003. "Accounting for the U.S. Earnings and Wealth Inequality," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(4), pages 818-857, August.
    28. Psacharopoulos, George, 1994. "Returns to investment in education: A global update," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(9), pages 1325-1343, September.
    29. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1996. "School Resources and Student Outcomes: An Overview of the Literature and New Evidence from North and South Carolina," Working Papers 745, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    30. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1997. "The Career Decisions of Young Men," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(3), pages 473-522, June.
    31. Haley, William J, 1976. "Estimation of the Earnings Profile from Optimal Human Capital Accumulation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(6), pages 1223-1238, November.
    32. Miles Corak & Andrew Heisz, 1998. "The Intergenerational Earnings and Income Mobility of Canadian," Labor and Demography 9808001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    33. Gary Solon, 2002. "Cross-Country Differences in Intergenerational Earnings Mobility," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 59-66, Summer.
    34. Owen, Ann L. & Weil, David N., 1998. "Intergenerational earnings mobility, inequality and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 71-104, February.
    35. Raquel Bernal, 2004. "Employment and Child Care Decisions of Mothers and the Well-being of their Children," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 361, Econometric Society.
    36. Roland Bénabou, 1996. "Inequality and Growth," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996, Volume 11, pages 11-92, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    37. repec:dau:papers:123456789/10091 is not listed on IDEAS
    38. Raquel Fernandez & Richard Rogerson, 1996. "Income Distribution, Communities, and the Quality of Public Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 135-164.
    39. Behrman, Jere R & Taubman, Paul, 1989. "Is Schooling "Mostly in the Genes"? Nature-N urture Decomposition Using Data on Relatives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1425-1446, December.
    40. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
    41. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-1189, December.
    42. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352-352.
    43. Aiyagari, S. Rao & Greenwood, Jeremy & Seshadri, Ananth, 2002. "Efficient Investment in Children," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 102(2), pages 290-321, February.
    44. Zimmerman, David J, 1992. "Regression toward Mediocrity in Economic Stature," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 409-429, June.
    45. Fernandez, Raquel & Rogerson, Richard, 1998. "Public Education and Income Distribution: A Dynamic Quantitative Evaluation of Education-Finance Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 813-833, September.
    46. Bjorklund, Anders & Jantti, Markus, 1997. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in Sweden Compared to the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1009-1018, December.
    47. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 2001. "The Effect of Parental Transfers and Borrowing Constraints on Educational Attainment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1051-1103, November.
    48. Todd R. Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2000. "The Relationship Between Family Income and Schooling Attainment: Evidence from a Liberal Arts College with a Full Tuition Subsidy Program," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 20008, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Christopher Rauh, 2015. "The Political Economy of Early and College Education - Can Voting Bend the Great Gatsby Curve?," 2015 Meeting Papers 82, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Yilmaz, Kuzey, 2018. "Quantity–quality trade-off of children and school finance," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 188-203.
    3. Andrés Erosa & Tatyana Koreshkova & Diego Restuccia, 2010. "How Important Is Human Capital? A Quantitative Theory Assessment of World Income Inequality," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1421-1449.
    4. Anna Christina D'Addio, 2007. "Intergenerational Transmission of Disadvantage: Mobility or Immobility Across Generations?," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 52, OECD Publishing.
    5. Grossmann, Volker, 2008. "Risky human capital investment, income distribution, and macroeconomic dynamics," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 19-42, March.
    6. Grawe, Nathan D., 2006. "Lifecycle bias in estimates of intergenerational earnings persistence," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(5), pages 551-570, October.
    7. Kuzey Yilmaz, 2014. "On the Importance of Fertility Behavior in School Finance Policy Design," Koç University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum Working Papers 1403, Koc University-TUSIAD Economic Research Forum.
    8. Andrea Ichino & Loukas Karabarbounis & Enrico Moretti, 2011. "The Political Economy Of Intergenerational Income Mobility," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(1), pages 47-69, January.
    9. Thakurata, Indrajit & D'Souza, Errol, 2018. "Child labour and human capital in developing countries - A multi-period stochastic model," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 67-81.
    10. Ben-Halima, B. & Chusseau, N. & Hellier, J., 2014. "Skill premia and intergenerational education mobility: The French case," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 50-64.
    11. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Lance Lochner, 2020. "Early and Late Human Capital Investments, Borrowing Constraints, and the Family," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(3), pages 1065-1147.
    12. Corak, Miles & Piraino, Patrizio, 2010. "Intergenerational Earnings Mobility and the Inheritance of Employers," IZA Discussion Papers 4876, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Minchul Yum, 2015. "Parental Time Investment and Human Capital Formation: A Quantitative Analysis of Intergenerational Mobility," 2015 Meeting Papers 996, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. Michele Bernasconi & Paola Profeta, 2007. "Redistribution or Education? The Political Economy of the Social Race," CESifo Working Paper Series 1934, CESifo.
    15. Andres Erosa & Tatyana Koreshkova & Diego Restuccia, 2006. "On the aggregate and distributional implications of productivity differences across countries," Working Paper 06-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    16. O'Gorman, Melanie, 2010. "Educational disparity and the persistence of the black-white wage gap in the U.S," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 526-542, August.
    17. Rauh, Christopher, 2017. "Voting, education, and the Great Gatsby Curve," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 1-14.
    18. Seshadri, Ananth & Yuki, Kazuhiro, 2004. "Equity and efficiency effects of redistributive policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 1415-1447, October.
    19. Nathalie Chusseau & Joël Hellier & Bassem Ben-Halima, 2012. "Education, Intergenerational Mobility and Inequality," Working Papers hal-00993472, HAL.
    20. Kourtellos, Andros & Marr, Christa & Tan, Chih Ming, 2020. "Local Intergenerational Mobility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 126(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    human capital; education; intergenerational mobility; ability;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:uwo:epuwoc:20024. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://economics.uwo.ca/research/research_papers/epri_workingpapers.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://economics.uwo.ca/research/research_papers/epri_workingpapers.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.