Childhood and Inter‐generational Mobility

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Abstract:

This chapter looks at how parents' outcomes and those of their children are related, with a focus on earnings and education. Almost all measures of adult well‐being ‐ health status, earnings and income, education, intelligence, behaviour, personality, and occupation ‐ share a degree of persistence between family generations. Childhood is the time when family and government investments most influence the extent to which the future adult trajectories of children mirror those of their parents and the extent to which inequalities persist between generations. The chapter begins by setting the context, and then considers the extent of inter‐generational earnings and education inequality in different countries and whether they have been changing over time. The causes of inter‐generational inequality are then considered before addressing the policy issue of the illusive optimal level of inter‐generational inequality.

Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: August 1, 2009

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