Like Father, Like Son? Intergenerational Education Mobility in India

47 Pages Posted: 8 May 2012 Last revised: 24 Aug 2014

See all articles by Mehtabul Azam

Mehtabul Azam

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Vipul Bhatt

James Madison University - College of Business

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 20, 2014


Using nationally representative and publicly available India Human Development Survey (IHDS), we create a unique son-father matched data that is representative of the entire adult male population (aged 20-65) in India. We use this data to document the evolution of intergenerational transmission of educational attainment in India over time, among different castes, and states for the birth cohorts of 1940-85. We find that educational persistence, as measured by the regression coefficient of fathers’ education as a predictor of schooling in the next generation, has declined over time. This implies increases in average educational attainment are driven primarily by increases among children of less educated fathers. However, we do not find such declining trend in the correlation between sons and fathers education, another commonly used measure of persistence. To understand the source of such a discrepancy between the two measures of educational persistence we decompose the intergenerational correlation and find that although persistence has declined at the lower end of fathers’ educational distribution, it has increased at the top end of the fathers’ educational distribution.

Keywords: J6, I28

JEL Classification: Intergenerational Mobility, Educational Persistence, India

Suggested Citation

Azam, Mehtabul and Bhatt, Vipul, Like Father, Like Son? Intergenerational Education Mobility in India (August 20, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Mehtabul Azam (Contact Author)

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater ( email )

Stillwater, OK 74078-0555
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072

Vipul Bhatt

James Madison University - College of Business ( email )

421, Bluestone Dr. , MSC 0204
ZSH 442
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
United States


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