From Parents to Children: the Intergenerational Transmission of Advantage
December 2, 2013
Does economic inequality in one generation lead to inequality of opportunity in the next? From Parents to Children… compares whether and how parents’ resources transmit advantage to their children at different stages of development and sheds light on the structural differences among countries that may influence intergenerational mobility… The contributors find that inequality in mobility-relevant skills emerges early in childhood in all of the countries studied. Bruce Bradbury and his coauthors… show that as early as age five, large disparities in cognitive and other mobility-relevant skills develop between low- and high-income kids, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. Such disparities may be mitigated by investments in early childhood education… [I]ncome-based gaps in cognitive achievement in the United States and the United Kingdom widen as children reach adolescence… As economic inequality in the United States continues to rise, the national policy conversation will not only need to address the devastating effects of rising inequality in this generation but also the potential consequences of the decline in mobility from one generation to the next. Drawing on unparalleled international datasets, From Parents to Children provides an important first step.
From Parents to Children: the Intergenerational Transmission of Advantage, edited by John Ermisch, Markus Jäntti, and Timothy Smeeding. New York : Russell Sage Foundation, 2012. 506 p. ISBN 9780871540454 (pbk.)
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