Educational Mobility Across Three Generations of American Women
30 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2015
Date Written: January 20, 2015
We analyze the intergenerational transmission of education in a three-generation sample of women from the US. The studied cohorts were born between the early 1910s and the early 1980s, a period of transformational increases in female educational attainment, making this an especially interesting context in which to study multigenerational inequality. We find strong three-generation educational persistence, with the association between the education of grandmothers and their granddaughters approximately two-times stronger than would be expected under the type of Markovian transmission process that has been assumed in much of the existing two-generation mobility literature. To better understand these findings we outline a simple theoretical transmission structure that is consistent with strong three-generation effects, assess various mechanisms through which grandparents may directly influence the education of their grandchildren, and investigate the extent to which core demographic processes such as differential fertility impact multigenerational educational persistence.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation