Intergenerational Mobility in Education and Occupation

Forthcoming

Authors: Jaime Alonso-Carrera, Jordi Caballé and Xavier Raurich

Macroeconomic Dynamics

We build a model that, according to the empirical evidence, gives rise to oscillations in wealth within a dynasty while keeping intergenerational persistence in education attainment. We propose a mechanism based on the interaction between wealth and effort as suggested by the Carnegie conjecture, according to which wealthier individuals devote less effort in their job occupations than poorer. Oscillations in wealth arise from changes in the occupation chosen by different generations of the same dynasty as a response to both inherited wealth and college premium. Our mechanism generates a rich social stratification with several classes in the long run due to the combination of different levels of education and occupation types. Furthermore, we generate a large mobility in wealth among classes even in the long run. Our model highlights the role played by the minimum cost on education investment, the borrowing constraints, and the complementarity between education and occupational effort.

This paper originally appeared as Barcelona GSE Working Paper 945