Multi-Generational Income Disadvantage and the Transition to Adulthood

Patrick Wightman, University of Michigan
Sheldon H. Danziger, University of Michigan

We extend existing research on the intergenerational transmission of SES by investigating the degree to which the incomes of both parents and grandparents affect young adult educational attainment (high school completion and college entry). We analyze newly-available data from the Transition to Adulthood Supplement (TA) to the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). The TA sample represents the third generation of PSID respondents, those born to a parent who grew up in a PSID household. As a result, we have information on both the parents when the TA respondents were children and their grandparents when their parents were children. We find that young adults whose parents were in the lowest quintile of family income and whose grandparents were also in the lowest quintile are less likely than other respondents to have graduated from high school and to have entered college. We will also investigate potential mediating and moderating factors.

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Presented in Session 205: Intergenerational Relations