Multidimensional Intergenerational Inequality: Resource Specificity in Education, Occupation, and Income

2019-01-25T14:32:32Z (GMT) by Max Thaning
Multidimensionality in intergenerational transmission of inequality is examined by focusing on how multiple resources (education, occupation, and income) are transmitted over corresponding child outcomes. I assess to what degree transfers are generic or specific over resources and whether misspecification results in bias. High quality Swedish administrative register data is used in order to minimize parental measurement error and child life course bias. A sibling correlation approach is employed to establish the influence of each parental resource. The results show that intergenerational inequality is subject to resource specificity. First, same resource transmission implies that the same parental resource as the child outcome matter most in the transmission of advantage. In this sense, educational elites foster educational elites, while economic advantage favor children’s own economic status. The bias due to excluding same resource transmission is estimated to about 5 to 13 percent. Second, resource transmission follows a proximity pattern, where parental education explains the least of child income, and parental income is the most suboptimal predictor of children’s education – with parental occupation in between. The conclusion is that resource specificity cannot be neglected without the risk of underestimating the true rate of intergenerational inequality.