Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Research Papers in Economics,
Stockholm University, Department of Economics

No 2013:3: Long-term intergenerational persistence of human capital: an empirical analysis of four generations

Mikael Lindahl (), Mårten Palme (), Sofia Sandgren Massih and Anna Sjögren ()
Additional contact information
Mikael Lindahl: Uppsala University, CESifo, IFAU, IZA and UCLS, Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Mårten Palme: Dept. of Economics, Stockholm University, Postal: Department of Economics, Stockholm University, S-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Sofia Sandgren Massih: Uppsala University, Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Anna Sjögren: IFAU, UCLS and SOFI Stockholm University, Postal: IFAU, Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala

Abstract: Most previous studies of intergenerational transmission of human capital are restricted to two generations – parents and their children. In this study we use a Swedish data set which enables us link individual measures of lifetime earnings for three generations and data on educational attainments of four generations. We investigate to what extent estimates based on income data from two generations accurately predict earnings persistence beyond two generations. We also do a similar analysis for intergenerational persistence in educational attainments. We find two-generation studies to severely under-predict intergenerational persistence in earnings and educational attainment over three and four generations.

Keywords: Intergenerational income mobility; Human capital transmission; Multigenerational income mobility

JEL-codes: D31; J62

27 pages, January 16, 2013

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