Occupational Choice Across Generations

32 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2004

See all articles by Amelie F. Constant

Amelie F. Constant

Princeton University; UNU-MERIT; CESifo

Klaus F. Zimmermann

Global Labor Organization (GLO); UNU-MERIT; Maastricht University, Department of Economics; Free University Berlin; University of Bonn; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Journal of Population Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 2004


There are few studies on occupational choices in Germany, and second-generation occupational choice and mobility is even less investigated. Such research is important because occupations determine success in the labour market. In a country like Germany, occupations also reflect a general socio-economic standing. This Paper looks at the patterns of employment in Germany, analyses how individual men and women access jobs given their family background, and investigates why men and women have different occupational distributions. Based on the German Socio-Economic Panel, we estimate multinomial logit models of occupational choice for the children of immigrants as well as for natives. Our findings are surprisingly similar for both natives and immigrants. For both Germans and immigrants, we find that gender significantly and differentially affects occupational choice, and that individuals with more education choose higher-ranking jobs. The role of experience is important for natives and qualified individuals only. Germans are more likely to choose occupations similar to their fathers' occupation when their father is in the white collar or professional category. In stark contrast, the immigrants' occupational choice is more influenced by their mother's education and not by their fathers' occupation.

Keywords: Occupational choice, intergenerational issues, human capital, migration

JEL Classification: D90, F22, J24, J61, J62

Suggested Citation

Constant, Amelie F. and Zimmermann, Klaus F., Occupational Choice Across Generations (February 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=510221

Amelie F. Constant

Princeton University ( email )

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Klaus F. Zimmermann (Contact Author)

Global Labor Organization (GLO) ( email )


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UNU-MERIT ( email )

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Maastricht University, Department of Economics ( email )

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University of Bonn

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Journal of Population Economics

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