Cover: Assortative Mating and Family Links in Permanent Earnings

Assortative Mating and Family Links in Permanent Earnings

Published 1997

by Lee A. Lillard, M. Rebecca Kilburn

Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

This paper provides a number of new results regarding the contribution of family background to individual permanent earnings. First, the authors show that sibling correlations include a gender-neutral family component associated with having the same parents and gender-specific components shared by only same-sex siblings. The magnitude of these sibling links is robust to generalization of the transitory earnings component to an auto-regressive moving average. The measured contribution of parents' earnings to the permanent earnings of their sons and daughters is quite sensitive to the specification of the transitory earnings component of the parents, which is measurement error in a model of intergenerational links. Accounting for autocorrelation in parents earnings more than doubles the apparent effects of father's permanent earnings on that of both sons and daughters. Father's and mother's permanent earnings are strongly linked, indicating positive assortative mating in that dimension. The net direct contribution of mother's permanent earnings on her children is effectively zero. Children also positively assortatively mate on permanent earnings, and the correlation in permanent earnings of women who marry brothers and men who marry sisters is explained completely by the family components of the brothers and the sisters.

This report is part of the RAND draft series. The unrestricted draft was a product of RAND from 1993 to 2003 that represented preliminary or prepublication versions of other more formal RAND products for distribution to appropriate external audiences. The draft could be considered similar to an academic discussion paper. Although unrestricted drafts had been approved for circulation, they were not usually formally edited or peer reviewed.

This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of RAND intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited; linking directly to this product page is encouraged. Permission is required from RAND to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of its research documents for commercial purposes. For information on reprint and reuse permissions, please visit www.rand.org/pubs/permissions.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.