Upward Intergenerational Mobility of College Students: Does the Type of Institution Matters?

Graduation Year


Publication Date

Spring 2018

Embargo Period



At the request of the author, this paper is not available for download. Bona fide researchers may consult it by visiting the University Archives in Tate Archives & Special Collections; contact archives@iwu.edu for details.


Intergenerational mobility is defined as the difference in social and economic standing between generations of the same family. Since the 2000’s, researchers have become more interested in college students and how the institutions they attend may affect their future earnings. I examine intergenerational mobility of college students based on their initial endowment coupled with the value added from each college. Do well-prepared high school students automatically enjoy higher future earnings, or does the college they attend enhance their human capital, and thus future earnings? This data set comes from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and Raj Chetty’s Equality of Opportunity Project, based upon data from over 30 million current and former college students. The merged data characterizes colleges with variables such as mean income of graduated students and the total instructional expenditure on each student. Such research allows intergenerational mobility to be measured by both concrete quantifiable variables and intangible variables. Findings in this research show that selectivity of an institution can majorly affect graduates’ wages. However, given a selection bias at institutions, students with qualifying SAT scores may not choose to attend the most selective schools, thus affecting future wages.



This document is currently not available here.