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The transmission of longevity across generations: The case of the settler Cape Colony

Patrizio Piraino (), Sean Muller, Jeanne Cilliers () and Johan Fourie ()

No 14/2013, Working Papers from Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics

Abstract: The literature on parent-child correlations in socioeconomic status provides little evidence on long-term multigenerational dynamics. This is because most studies of intergenerational status persistence are based on two (at most three) successive generations. Our analysis adds to the intergenerational mobility literature by studying the correlation in longevity across multiple generations of a historical population. By using information on birth and death dates of eighteenth and nineteenth century settlers in South Africa’s Cape Colony, we are able to estimate the intergenerational transmission of longevity, which is found to be positive and significant. Our analysis confirms one of the most consistent findings in the social sciences: the correlation between the status of parents and that of their offspring is positive and significant.

Keywords: intergenerational mobility; persistence; social mobility; inequality; genealogical; Cape Colony (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J62 N37 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr, nep-age, nep-dem, nep-evo, nep-hea and nep-his
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