Friday, Jan. 6, 2023 10:15 AM - 12:15 PM (CST)
- Chair: Karen Dynan, Harvard University
Black Americans’ Landholdings and Economic Mobility after Emancipation: New Evidence on the Significance of 40 Acres
AbstractThe US Civil War ended in 1865 without the distribution of land or compensation to those formerly enslaved – a decision often seen as a cornerstone of racial inequality. We build a dataset to observe Black households’ landholdings in 1880, a key component of their wealth, alongside a sample of White households. We then link their sons to the 1900 census records to observe economic and human capital outcomes. We show that Black landowners (and skilled workers) were able to transmit substantial intergenerational advantages to their sons. But such advantages were small relative to the overall racial gaps in economic status.
The Intergenerational Transmission of Mental and Physical Health in the United Kingdom
AbstractWe investigate intergenerational health persistence in the United Kingdom using Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALY), a broad measure of health derived from the SF-12 Survey. We estimate that the rank-rank slope is 0.17 and the intergenerational health association (IHA) is 0.19. We use components of the SF-12 to create mental and physical health indices and that both mental health and physical health have a similar degree of intergenerational persistence. However, parents' mental health is much more strongly associated with children's health than parents' physical health indicating that mental health might be a more important transmission channel. Finally, we construct an overall measure of welfare that combines income and health, and estimate a rank-rank association of 0.27. This is considerably lower than a comparable estimate of 0.43 for the US, suggesting greater mobility of overall welfare in the UK than the US.
Intergenerational Mobility using Income, Consumption, and Wealth
AbstractWe use fifty years of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics to study the intergenerational correlation in income, consumption, and wealth for the same individuals to answer the question: is intergenerational mobility similar across the three resource measures? Income exhibits the highest intergenerational correlation, or lowest mobility, followed closely by consumption and a larger difference for wealth. This primary result holds across three measures of the intergenerational correlation: the rank-rank slope, the intergenerational elasticity, and the Gini index of mobility. Our findings highlight the importance of using the same sample to study the three measures, as our consumption rank-rank slope is higher than the income rank-rank slope found in the literature, but our consumption rank-rank slope is lower than our own income rank-rank slope. These results paint a more complete picture of intergenerational mobility. Relative mobility is lowest for income, followed by consumption and wealth. However, we find that high wealth in childhood supplements low income or low consumption in childhood, increasing upward mobility for those with low income or consumption in childhood. Thus, wealth acts as a buffer against low income or consumption as a child. We also look at differences between White children and Black children. We find that if all children experienced the level of intergenerational mobility that Black children experience, the United States would compare much more favorably to the high mobility experienced in Nordic countries.
- J6 - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers
- D1 - Household Behavior and Family Economics