Countercyclical School Attainment and Intergenerational Mobility

43 Pages Posted: 8 May 2018

See all articles by Andreu Arenas

Andreu Arenas

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE)

Clément Malgouyres

Paris School of Economics (PSE); Institut des politiques publiques (PSE)

Date Written: May 2018

Abstract

We study how economic conditions at the time of choosing post-compulsory education affect intergenerational mobility. Exploiting local variation in birthplace unemployment rate at age 16 across 23 cohorts in France, we find that cohorts deciding on post-compulsory education in bad economic times are more educationally intergenerationally mobile – their level of educational attainment is less related to having a white-collar father. These cohorts are also more occupationally intergenerationally mobile; and a large fraction of this effect is explained by business cycle-induced differences in educational attainment. Results are robust to accounting for differential spatial mobility between birth and age 16 by parental occupation. Finally, we provide additional evidence that high local unemployment at age 16 increases the relative school enrollment rate of children of blue collar workers the year after – at age 17.

Keywords: Intergenerational mobility, business cycle, human capital, occupational choice

JEL Classification: J24, I21, E24

Suggested Citation

Arenas, Andreu and Malgouyres, Clément, Countercyclical School Attainment and Intergenerational Mobility (May 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3173705 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3173705

Andreu Arenas

Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) - Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) ( email )

Voie du Roman Pays 34
Louvain-la-Neuve,, B-1348
Belgium

Clément Malgouyres (Contact Author)

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

Institut des politiques publiques (PSE) ( email )

48 boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014
France

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