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Intergenerational Mobility in Education: Variation in Geography and Time

Jason Fletcher () and Joel Han

Journal of Human Capital, 2019, vol. 13, issue 4, 585 - 634

Abstract: Education mobility contributes to income mobility and is an important policy target but has received little attention. This paper documents trends (1982–2004) and geographical differences (across US states) in education mobility. We develop mobility measures that respect the unique properties of education attainment. While standard approaches suggest slightly increasing mobility over the sample period, we find that mobility fluctuated, decreasing over roughly the first decade and increasing in the second. Geographic variation in education mobility is correlated with local community and policy factors—such as the existence of high school exit exams. Finally, the South is excluded from national increases in mobility.

Date: 2019
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