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Working Paper, No. 2017-05, 2017
The Decline in Intergenerational Mobility After 1980 (REVISED January 2019)

We demonstrate that intergenerational mobility declined sharply for cohorts born in the early 1960s compared to those born around 1950. The former entered the labor market largely after the large rise in inequality that occurred around 1980 while the latter entered the labor market well before this inflection point. We show that the rank-rank slope rose from 0.22 to 0.37. We document concurrent increases in the education-parent income gradient, in the returns to education, and in the marriage-parent income gradient and provide suggestive evidence that the increase in the education-parent income gradient explains much of the increase in persistence.



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