FEEM working papers "Note di lavoro" series
2015 .074

From the Cradle to the Grave: the Effect of Family Background on the Career Path of Italian Men


Authors: Michele Raitano and Francesco Vona
Series: Economy and Society
Editor: Carlo Carraro
Keywords: Intergenerational Inequality, Parental Education, Experience-Earnings profiles, Human Capital  
JEL n.: J62, J24, J31

Abstract

This paper investigates the influence of parental education on the returns to experience of Italian men using a new longitudinal dataset that contains detailed information on individual working histories. Our favourite panel estimates indicate that an additional year of parental education increases sons' weekly wages by 11.7% after twenty years of experience and that 71% of this effect emerges during the career. We show that this effect holds irrespective of individual abilities, and it appears the result of both a glass ceiling effect, due to the complementarity between parental education and son’s abilities, and a parachute effect, associated with family labour market connections.   

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