Estimating the Intergenerational Persistence of Lifetime Earnings with Life Course Matching: Evidence from the PSID

Gouskova, E., N. Chiteji, and F. Stafford
Labour Economics, Vol. 17, no. 3 (Jun 2010), pp. 592-597. doi:10.1016/j.labeco.2009.04.009

Why do estimates of the intergenerational persistence in earnings vary so much for the United States? Recent research suggests that lifecycle bias may be a major factor [Grawe, N., Lifecycle bias in estimates of intergenerational earnings persistence. Labour Economics 2006, 13:551–570; Haider, S., and Solon, G., Life-cycle variation in the association between current and lifetime earnings. American Economic Review 2006, 96(4):1308–1320.]. In this paper we estimate the intergenerational correlation in lifetime earnings by using sons' and fathers' earnings at similar ages in order to account for lifecycle bias. Our estimate based on earnings measured at 35–44 for both fathers and sons is similar to that for the age range 45–54.

Wagner Faculty