Intergenerational Educational Mobility and Life Course Income Trajectories in the United States

Meir Yaish , University of Haifa
Doron Shiffer-Sebba, University of Pennsylvania
Limor Gabay-Egozi, Bar-Ilan University
Hyunjoon Park, University of Pennsylvania

Motivate by a theoretical perspective of the cumulative advantage, we examine intergenerational educational mobility and its consequences for life-course income trajectories. Instead of focusing on the overall educational association between two generations, we classify respondents into four distinctive groups depending on whether their parents and they had college education, respectively: upward and downward mobile, immobile in college and in non-college levels. Then, we link intergenerational educational mobility into life-course income trajectories by comparing how four mobility groups differ in their evolution of income from the age 25 to 50. We apply growth models to two longitudinal data (PSID and NLSY79) of black and white men and women. Preliminary results indicate that educational reproduction is the dominant pattern. Moreover, income trajectories of the four mobility groups have evolved differently over time, resulting in widening inequality over the life course among the groups. Intergenerational educational mobility bears important consequences for income trajectories.

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 Presented in Session 57. Consequences of Intergenerational Social and Educational Mobility