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Intergenerational mobility in theory

Summary:
This is Lecture 6 of the course ECON 85600, “Inequality, Economic Opportunity, and Public Policy,” that my class and I are now conducting online. You are welcome to participate, and can review all the course materials at https://milescorak.com/equality-of-opportunity/teaching/ . Warning: this is likely to interest social scientists in sociology, economics, or other fields, interested in developing a specialized knowledge of the subject! This lecture examines the influential theoretical model of intergenerational mobility published by Gary Becker and Nigel Tomes in 1986, offering an overview of the theory, some predictions it makes, and some directions it suggests for future research. The full reading list and access to other papers are on the page devoted to this lecture at

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This is Lecture 6 of the course ECON 85600, “Inequality, Economic Opportunity, and Public Policy,” that my class and I are now conducting online. You are welcome to participate, and can review all the course materials at https://milescorak.com/equality-of-opportunity/teaching/ .

Warning: this is likely to interest social scientists in sociology, economics, or other fields, interested in developing a specialized knowledge of the subject!

This lecture examines the influential theoretical model of intergenerational mobility published by Gary Becker and Nigel Tomes in 1986, offering an overview of the theory, some predictions it makes, and some directions it suggests for future research.

The full reading list and access to other papers are on the page devoted to this lecture at https://milescorak.com/equality-of-opportunity/teaching/lecture-6/

We learn in this lecture about the different forces that come together to determine the degree of intergenerational mobility, and how they might help us in understanding differences across time and space. The model more precisely defines how the family, the market, and the state come together to determine the degree of regression to the mean in parent and child incomes.

View this lecture in conjunction with your reading and of the student presentation of Chapter 4 of the World Bank publication Fair Progress? Economic Mobility across Generations around the World.

Here is the student presentation, which you should download and review as a complement to your reading of the World Bank report: https://milescorak.com/econ-85600-fair-progress-chapter-4-pathways-intergenerational-mobility/

Be certain to leave a comment, question, or concern in the “What do you think?” box at the very bottom of this post. Frame your feedback in a way that is of benefit to the learning environment for all students, and don’t hesitate to raise a question of clarification if you don’t understand an issue.

As a bonus, you can also watch Gary Becker lecture on this topic!

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