Like (Grand)Parent, Like Child? Multigenerational Mobility Across the EU

39 Pages Posted: 21 May 2019

See all articles by Marco Colagrossi

Marco Colagrossi

European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC)

Beatrice d'Hombres

University of Padua - Department of Economics

Sylke V. Schnepf

University of Southampton - Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute (S3RI); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

This study shows that the intergenerational transmission of inequality in most of the 28 EU countries is higher than what a parent-to-child paradigm would suggest. While a strand of the literature claims that this is due to a direct grandparental effect, economic historian Gregory Clark maintains that multigenerational mobility follows a Markovian process. In his view, previous estimates of social status persistence are not only (severely) attenuated by an errors-in-variables problem, but are also constant across time and space. Using a survey covering all 28 EU countries, we provide evidence against such a "universal law of mobility".We show that, while in most EU countries traditional estimates of social status persistence are indeed downward biased, there are sizable differences across countries driven by country-specific factors. Further, for a few EU countries we cannot reject the hypothesis of a direct grandparental effect after accounting for a number of parents related covariates possibly affecting the multigenerational transmission process.

Keywords: multigenerational mobility, education, inequality

JEL Classification: J62, I24

Suggested Citation

Colagrossi, Marco and d'Hombres, Beatrice and Schnepf, Sylke V., Like (Grand)Parent, Like Child? Multigenerational Mobility Across the EU. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12302, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3390292 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3390292

Marco Colagrossi (Contact Author)

European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC) ( email )

Via Enrico Fermi 2749, Ispra, VA
Ispra (VA), 21027
Italy

Beatrice D'Hombres

University of Padua - Department of Economics ( email )

via Del Santo 33
Padova, 35123
Italy

Sylke V. Schnepf

University of Southampton - Southampton Statistical Sciences Research Institute (S3RI) ( email )

Southampton SO17 1BJ
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
45
Abstract Views
443
PlumX Metrics