From the Cradle to the Grave: The Influence of Family Background on the Career Path of Italian Men

27 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2018

See all articles by Michele Raitano

Michele Raitano

Sapienza University of Rome

Francesco Vona

Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE) - Department for Research on Innovation and Competition

Date Written: December 2018

Abstract

Using a longitudinal data set that contains detailed information on working histories of Italian men, we investigate the relationship between parental background and sons’ earnings profiles. We find that the parental influence on sons’ earnings persists over the career and that the direct influence controlling for sons’ education is large and grows during the working career. After twenty years of experience, our baseline specification indicates that an additional year of parental education is associated with a 2.0% increase in sons’ wages, while an additional year of son's education is associated with a 4.8% increase. We use educational mobility between parents and sons to disentangle this influence into a glass ceiling effect – a premium for well‐off children who have high educational attainments – and a parachute effect – a premium for well‐off children who acquire less education than their parents. We find that both effects contribute to explain the steeper earnings profiles of the well‐off sons, consistently with the idea that family ties play a crucial allocative role in the Italian labour market.

Suggested Citation

Raitano, Michele and Vona, Francesco, From the Cradle to the Grave: The Influence of Family Background on the Career Path of Italian Men (December 2018). Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 80, Issue 6, pp. 1062-1088, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3273546 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/obes.12237

Michele Raitano (Contact Author)

Sapienza University of Rome ( email )

Via del Castro Laurenziano 9
Roma, Rome 00161
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/a/uniroma1.it/micheleraitano-eng/

Francesco Vona

Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE) - Department for Research on Innovation and Competition ( email )

250 rue Albert Einstein
Valbonne, 06560
France

HOME PAGE: http://www.ofce.sciences-po.fr/ofce/dric.htm

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