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Publication Detail
Intergenerational income mobility: Access to top jobs, the low-pay no-pay cycle, and the role of education in a common framework
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Article
  • Authors:
    Gregg P, Macmillan LA, Vittori C
  • Publisher:
    Springer Nature
  • Publication date:
    04/2019
  • Journal:
    Journal of Population Economics
  • Status:
    Accepted
  • Print ISSN:
    0933-1433
  • Language:
    English
  • Keywords:
    Intergenerational mobility, children, education, nonlinear estimation, quantile regression
Abstract
Studies of intergenerational mobility have typically focused on estimating the average persistence across generations. Here, we use the relatively new unconditional quantile regression technique to consider how intergenerational persistence varies across the distribution of sons’ earnings. We find a J-shaped relationship between parental income and sons’ earnings, with parental income a strong predictor of labour market success for those at the bottom, and to an even greater extent, the top of the earnings distribution. We explore the role of early skills, education and early labour market attachment in shaping this pattern for the first time. Worryingly, we find that the association with childhood parental income dominating that of a high level of education at the top of the distribution of earnings. In this sense education is not as meritocratic as we might hope, as those with the same detailed educational attainment do not achieve equal access to top jobs. Early labour market spells out of work have lasting effects on those at the bottom, alongside parental income.
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