Gianluca Mazzarella (JRC) - Two Generations of Siblings and Cousins Correlations Across the Ancestors’ Wealth Distribution

We reconstruct the genealogical tree of all individuals ever appearing in Dutch municipalities records starting in 1995. Using microdata from tax authorities, we compute a measure of their permanent earnings and assess the degree to which pairs of cousins and siblings correlate across two cohorts, those born around the 50s and those born around the 80s. We find that cousins and siblings correlations in earnings vary substantially across ancestors' wealth quantiles. In particular, those having ancestors in the bottom decile, show a much higher correlation in earnings. Further, the intergenerational transmission parameter, estimated through a latent factor model without assuming a steady state process, is much stronger for those families whose ancestors left no inheritance. Even in the relatively equal and wealthy Netherlands, misfortunes are transmitted across generations.

© Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza" - Piazzale Aldo Moro 5, 00185 Roma