Kasey Buckles, Notre Dame
TITLE:Family Trees and Falling Apples: Intergenerational Mobility Estimates from U.S. Genealogy Data ABSTRACT: A key feature that defines a society is the extent to which the circumstances of a person's birth determine his or her life course. One way that social scientists measure this is by estimating the degree of correlation between the characteristics of parents and their children. While the methods for calculating intergenerational correlations are straightforward, the data requirements are onerous; in the United States, the lack of a commonly-used identification number has made it difficult to create the necessary links between parents and children. To address this challenge, we use an innovative new data set that leverages information from an online genealogy platform to create tens of millions of new links among the 1850 to 1940 U.S. Censuses. We are able to estimate the degree of transmission of socio-economic status (as measured by occupation) from fathers to their sons and daughters, and the transmission of fertility outcomes from both mothers and fathers to their children.