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The Intergenerational Persistence of Human Capital: An Empirical Analysis of Four Generations

34 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2012  

Mikael Lindahl

University of Bonn; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Marten Palme

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economic Statistics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Sofia Sandgren Massih

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Anna Sjögren

IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation; Stockholm University - Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI)

Abstract

Most previous studies of intergenerational transmission of human capital are restricted to two generations – parents and their children. In this study we use a Swedish data set which enables us link individual measures of lifetime earnings for three generations and data on educational attainments of four generations. We investigate to what extent estimates based on income data from two generations accurately predicts earnings persistence beyond two generations. We also do a similar analysis for intergenerational persistence in educational attainments. We find two-generation studies to severely under-predict intergenerational persistence in earnings and educational attainment over three generations. Finally, we use our multigenerational data on educational attainment to estimate the structural parameters in the Becker-Tomes model. Our results suggest a small or no causal effect of parental education on children's educational attainment.

Keywords: multigenerational income mobility, human capital transmission, intergenerational income mobility

JEL Classification: D31, J62

Suggested Citation

Lindahl, Mikael and Palme, Marten and Sandgren Massih, Sofia and Sjögren, Anna, The Intergenerational Persistence of Human Capital: An Empirical Analysis of Four Generations. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6463. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2039649

Mikael Lindahl (Contact Author)

University of Bonn ( email )

Postfach 2220
Bonn, D-53012
Germany

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Marten Palme

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economic Statistics ( email )

P.O. Box 6501
S-113 83 Stockholm
Sweden
+46-8-7369222 (Phone)
+46-8-348161 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Sofia Sandgren Massih

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Anna Sjoegren

IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation ( email )

Box 513
751 20 Uppsala
Sweden

Stockholm University - Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI) ( email )

Kyrkgatan 43B
SE-106 91 Stockholm
Sweden

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