3Ms of 3G:Testing Three Mechanisms of Three-Generational Educational Mobility in the U. S.

46 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2016 Last revised: 9 Oct 2018

Jonathan Daw

Pennsylvania State University

S. Michael Gaddis

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Sociology; University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - California Center for Population Research

Anne Roback Morse

Pennsylvania State University

Date Written: October 2, 2018

Abstract

Following Mare’s (2011) presidential address to the Population Association of America, much research has examined the dynamics of intergenerational mobility and socioeconomic inequality. However, this research is starkly divided on the existence of multigenerational effects and pathways. In this article, we examine educational attainment across three generations using the Panel Study of Income Dynamics. We test three key hypothesized mechanisms of grandparent educational advantage transmission that have been documented in international samples: compensation and augmentation, grandparent lifespan, and genetic transmission. To further interrogate how these mechanisms function across social contexts, we also race-stratify all analyses. As a more stringent test, we also test all hypotheses using cousin fixed effects models. We find no evidence in favor of the compensation hypothesis, but do find descriptive support for the augmentation hypothesis, as well as some limited support among whites for college graduation outcomes in cousin fixed effects models. Findings on the lifespan overlap and genetic transmission hypotheses are highly race-stratified. Overall, our findings support the importance of investigating the mechanisms of three-generation processes of educational attainment across contexts and sub-groups.

Keywords: intergenerational mobility, educational attainment, education, mobility, inequality, grandparents

JEL Classification: E24, I20, I24, J11, J12, J62, Z13

Suggested Citation

Daw, Jonathan and Gaddis, S. Michael and Morse, Anne Roback, 3Ms of 3G:Testing Three Mechanisms of Three-Generational Educational Mobility in the U. S. (October 2, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2710883 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2710883

Jonathan Daw

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

Department of Sociology
211 Oswald Tower
University Park, PA 16802
United States

S. Michael Gaddis (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Sociology ( email )

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - California Center for Population Research ( email )

Los Angeles, CA
United States

Anne Roback Morse

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

University Park
State College, PA 16802
United States

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