Grandfathers Matter(ed): Occupational Mobility Across Three Generations in the US and Britain, 1850–1911

Jason Long*, Joseph Ferrie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Nearly all intergenerational mobility studies focus on fathers and sons. The possibility that the process is more than simply two-generational (AR(1)) has been difficult to assess because of the lack of the necessary multi-generational data. We remedy this shortcoming with new data that links grandfathers, fathers and sons in Britain and the US between 1850 and 1910. We find that grandfathers mattered: even controlling for father's occupation, grandfather's occupation significantly influenced the occupation of the grandson. For both Britain and the US in this time period, therefore, assessments based on two-generation estimates significantly overstate the true amount of social mobility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)F422-F445
JournalEconomic Journal
Volume128
Issue number612
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics

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