Economics at your fingertips  

Intergenerational transfer of human capital and its impact on income mobility: Evidence from China

Xuezheng Qin (), Tianyu Wang and Castiel Chen Zhuang

China Economic Review, 2016, vol. 38, issue C, 306-321

Abstract: This paper analyzes theoretically and empirically the impact of intergenerational transmission of human capital on the income mobility in China. We use a three-period overlapping-generations (OLG) model to show that the human capital transfer plays a remarkable role in determining the parent-to-offspring investment in human capital and the intergenerational elasticity of income. We then estimate a simultaneous equations model (SEM) using the 1989–2009 China Health and Nutrition Survey (CHNS) data to verify our theoretical predictions. The results show that (i) human capital, measured by health and education, is directly transmitted from one generation to the next, reflecting the parent-induced inequality of development opportunities among offspring in China; (ii) the estimated intergenerational income elasticity increases from 0.429 to 0.481 when the direct transfer of human capital is accounted for, suggesting that omitting this mechanism would overestimate China's income mobility. Our findings provide policy implications on strengthening human capital investments among the disadvantaged groups, reinforcing reforms that promote equality of opportunity, and improving the efficiency of labor markets in China.

Keywords: Human capital; Income mobility; Intergenerational transmission; China (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O14 J62 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this article

China Economic Review is currently edited by B.M. Fleisher, K. X. D. Huang, M.E. Lovely, Y. Wen, X. Zhang and X. Zhu

More articles in China Economic Review from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().

Page updated 2018-04-04
Handle: RePEc:eee:chieco:v:38:y:2016:i:c:p:306-321