Journal Article

The Transmission of Inequality Across Multiple Generations: Testing Recent Theories with Evidence from Germany


  • Braun
  • S.
  • Stuhler
  • J.
Publication Date

This paper shows that across multiple generations, the persistence of occupational and educational attainment in Germany is larger than estimates from two generations suggest. We test two recent theories that can explain such pattern. First, we present evidence against Gregory Clark’s hypotheses that the true rate of intergenerational persistence is around 0.75, and constant across countries and time. However, the model underlying Clark’s arguments fits our data well. Second, we test for independent effects of grandparents. We show that the coefficient on grandparent status is positive in a wide class of Markovian models, and present evidence against its causal interpretation.


JEL Classification