Poverty, Intergenerational Mobility and Young Adult Educational Attainment


This paper investigates the extent to which inequalities in parents' socioeconomic status affects young adult educational attainment. It finds no evidence that the gap in college completion has narrowed over the past 30 years between those from low- and high-income families, or between those whose parents have low and high educational attainment. The authors also find evidence of persistent gaps across three generations as well. These results suggest that despite spending on compsentory education programs from preschool beyond, the educational attainment of young adults, and thus their economic prospects, remains strongly tied to the status of their parents, and even their grandparents.