The distinguishing feature of the proposed work is the calculation of intergenerational elasticities not only between fathers and sons (as is done in most of the literature), but also between fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, and mothers and daughters. These calculations typically require the use of longitudinal data sets that link sons and daughters to their parents. Such data are not consistently available over extended periods of time. Moreover, while historical longitudinal data sets based on census data that link fathers and sons are now publicly available for a number of countries, it is not possible to apply exactly the same procedure to daughters because women change last names upon marriage.
The project applies and extends a methodology originally developed in Olivetti and Paserman (2015). The key advantage of this approach is that it makes it possible to calculate intergenerational elasticities between fathers and children of both genders. The key insight of this approach is that the information about socio-economic status conveyed by first names can be used to create a pseudo-link not only between fathers and sons, but also between fathers and daughters. Moreover, we will show how the methodology can be extended to calculate the effect of mother's human capital, as reflected by her pre-marital occupation, on her offspring, even if married mothers do not participate in the labor force.
Using this approach we can obtain comparable estimates of intergenerational mobility over many years and across countries. In addition, we can study the role of marriage and other institutions, as well as economic development, in the transmission of economic status across multiple generations. We will put special focus on the comparison between Norway and the United States, as these two countries currently sit at the opposite extremes of the spectrum of international estimates of intergenerational mobility.