Intergenerational Links and Upper Secondary Track Choice: Pattern and Consequences

42 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2008 Last revised: 9 May 2008

See all articles by Jean-Marc Falter

Jean-Marc Falter

University of Geneva - Department of Economics

Giovanni Ferro-Luzzi

University of Geneva

Federica Sbergami

University of Geneva - Department of Political Economics

Date Written: May 7, 2008

Abstract

Intergenerational mobility has often been investigated by computing educational attainment correlations between parents and children. However, parental choices may influence children education at earlier stages. This is the case in Switzerland where decisions about secondary school track take place between the age of 10 and 15, depending on the cantons. While this choice may be affected by innate ability, parental background may also affect the upper secondary school track. We first investigate the importance of parental background over the last 6 decades with the help of the Swiss Household Panel data. Next, we try to disentangle between ability, as measured by a cognitive test score, and parental background. Finally, the impact of school track decisions on wages is investigated. Our results show that the impact of parental background is specific to educational tracks and gender. The importance of parental background on educational inequality greatly depends on the opportunity to pursue tertiary education. Our analysis also indicates that parental background effects are mostly independent of cognitive ability, while this is not the case of gender or nationality effects. Finally, the impact of parental background on wages, through upper secondary educational attainment, is smaller in Switzerland than in other countries.

Keywords: Parental background, School tracks, Wages

JEL Classification: I21, J31, J62

Suggested Citation

Falter, Jean-Marc and Ferro-Luzzi, Giovanni and Sbergami, Federica, Intergenerational Links and Upper Secondary Track Choice: Pattern and Consequences (May 7, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1125309 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1125309

Jean-Marc Falter (Contact Author)

University of Geneva - Department of Economics ( email )

102 Bd Carl Vogt
Geneva 4, 1211
Switzerland
+41 22 379 9877 (Phone)
+41 22 379 8293 (Fax)

Giovanni Ferro-Luzzi

University of Geneva ( email )

Fac SES-DSE (Unimail)
40, Boulevard du Pont-d'Arve
Genève 4, CH - 1211
Switzerland
+41223798266 (Phone)
+41223798293 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.unige.ch/ses/ecopo/Staff/maitresass/ferroluzzig.html

Federica Sbergami

University of Geneva - Department of Political Economics ( email )

40, boulevard du Pont-d'Arve
Geneva 4, CH-1211
Switzerland

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
66
Abstract Views
752
rank
425,863
PlumX Metrics