Saturday, Jan. 7, 2017 3:15 PM – 5:15 PM
- Chair: James Feigenbaum, Harvard University
Intergenerational Wealth Mobility and the Role of Inheritance: Evidence From Multiple Generations
AbstractThis study estimates intergenerational correlations in mid-life wealth across three generations, and a young fourth generation, and examines how much that can be explained by inheritances. Using new unique Swedish evidence we find parent-child rank correlations of 0.3–0.4 and grandparents-grandchild rank correlations of 0.1-0.2. Bequests and gifts strikingly account for between half and three fourths of the wealth correlation while income and education explain little. We are also the first to compare estimates using wealth in mid-life to estimates using wealth at death.
Three-Generation Mobility in the United States, 1850-1940: The Role of Maternal and Paternal Grandparents
AbstractThis paper estimates intergenerational elasticities across three generations in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. We extend the methodology in Olivetti and Paserman (2015) to explore the role of maternal and paternal grandfathers for the transmission of economic status to grandsons and granddaughters. We document three main findings. First, grandfathers matter for income transmission, above and beyond their effect on fathers' income. Second, the socio-economic status of grandsons is influenced more strongly by paternal grandfathers than by maternal grandfathers. Third, maternal grandfathers are more important for granddaughters than for grandsons, while the opposite is true for paternal grandfathers. We present a model of multi-trait matching and inheritance that can rationalize these findings.
Multigenerational Persistence: Evidence From 146 Years of Administrative Data
AbstractThere is increasing evidence that intergenerational transmission of economic characteristics goes beyond what can be measured by parent-child associations. However, existing studies are based on samples from small geographic areas or particular time periods, making it hard to know to what extent these multigenerational processes can be generalized across space and time, and how they depend on the measurement of economic outcomes.
This paper uses Norwegian census data on occupational associations among grandfathers, fathers and sons from 1865 to 2011 and finds significant grandparental influence throughout the period. In particular, the additional grandparental influence is strong for white-collar occupations. The findings are robust to alternative ways of measuring the characteristics of the parent generation, and to the use of income rather than occupation as a measure of economic status. Multigenerational persistence is found to have been stronger early in the period, before the establishment of a modern welfare state, suggesting that institutions play a part in how economic characteristics are transmitted across generations.
Persistence is strong also in subpopulations where generations grew up in different parts of the country. This shows that the grandparental effect is not exclusively driven by direct interpersonal interaction between individuals across generations.
- J6 - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
- N3 - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy