In the name of the son (and the daughter): intergenerational mobility in the United States, 1850-1940
Paserman, M. Daniele
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CitationClaudia Olivetti, M Daniele Paserman. 2015. "In the Name of the Son (and the Daughter): Intergenerational Mobility in the United States, 1850-1940." AMERICAN ECONOMIC REVIEW, v. 105, Issue 8, pp. 2695 - 2724 (30).
This paper estimates historical intergenerational elasticities between fathers and children of both sexes in the United States using a novel empirical strategy. The key insight of our approach is that the information about socioeconomic status conveyed by first names can be used to create pseudo-links across generations. We find that both father-son and father-daughter elasticities were flat during the nineteenth century, increased sharply between 1900 and 1920, and declined slightly thereafter. We discuss the role of regional disparities in economic development, trends in inequality and returns to human capital, and the marriage market in explaining these patterns.
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