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Smock discusses the "new American family" on NPR

Pfeffer and colleagues re-examine impacts of community college attendance

Frey explains the minority-majority remapping of America

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Apply for 2-year NICHD Postdoctoral Fellowships that begin September 2015

PSC Fall 2014 Newsletter now available

Martha Bailey and Nicolas Duquette win Cole Prize for article on War on Poverty

Michigan's graduate sociology program tied for 4th with Stanford in USN&WR rankings

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Monday, Dec 1
Linda Waite

The Correlation of Wealth across Generations

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Charles, Kerwin, and Erik Hurst. 2003. "The Correlation of Wealth across Generations." Journal of Political Economy, 111(6): 1155-1182.

In this paper, we find that the age-adjusted elasticity of child wealth with respect to parental wealth is 0.37 before the transfer of bequests. Lifetime income and asset ownership jointly explain nearly two-thirds of the wealth elasticity. Education, past parental transfers, and expected future bequests account for little of the remaining elasticity. Survey measures of risk correlate strongly between parents and children. However, they explain little of the intergenerational similarity in the propensity to own different assets, suggesting that children's savings propensities are determined by mimicking their parents' behavior, or the inheritance of preferences not related to risk tolerance. Our results imply that while parents do pass on human capital and saving propensities to their children, the level of intergenerational fluidity is much greater than that suggested by recent accounts in the popular press.

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