The Decline in Intergenerational Mobility after 1980

73 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2017 Last revised: 4 Feb 2022

See all articles by Jonathan Davis

Jonathan Davis

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy; University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy

Bhashkar Mazumder

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Date Written: January 14, 2022

Abstract

We demonstrate that relative intergenerational mobility declined sharply for cohorts born in the early 1960s compared to those born around 1950. The former entered the labor market largely after the rise in inequality that occurred around 1980 while the latter entered the labor market well before this inflection point. We show that the rank-rank slope rose from 0.25 to 0.36 and the intergenerational elasticity (IGE) increased from 0.28 to 0.45. We find that increases in the returns to schooling and in the gradient in the likelihood of marriage by parent income are likely contributors to increased intergenerational persistence.

Keywords: Intergenerational mobility, income, labor market

JEL Classification: E2, J61, J62

Suggested Citation

Davis, Jonathan and Mazumder, Bhashkar, The Decline in Intergenerational Mobility after 1980 (January 14, 2022). FRB of Chicago Working Paper No. WP-2017-5, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2944584

Jonathan Davis (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1155 E 60th St
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1155 E 60th St
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Bhashkar Mazumder

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago ( email )

230 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

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