Persistence in the Transmission of Education: Evidence across Three Generations for Chile

Pablo Celhay, Sebastián Gallegos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Abstract: This paper is one of the first to document multigenerational educational mobility for a Latin American country. It complements a recent wave of articles that study mobility beyond two generations in developed countries. Specifically, we link data on educational attainment for three generations in Chile. Our main findings indicate that grandparental education influences grandchildren's schooling even after taking the parental factor into account. Accordingly, standard two-generation estimations over-predict intergenerational mobility over three generations. We investigate three potential avenues of transmission. First, we find that upward schooling mobility has moderately increased with younger cohorts, and that such changes may be attributable to institutional reforms. Second, there is important heterogeneity in educational mobility across regions in Chile, which sheds light on how parents' place of origin matters for upward mobility. Third, a gender-specific lineage analysis indicates that having more educated same-sex ancestors matters more for women and suggests that gender-related social roles may be passed along generations within families. All in all, our results suggest that family background effects can be longer lasting than previously believed, affecting the endowments and idiosyncratic capabilities of children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-451
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Human Development and Capabilities
Issue number3
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Intergenerational mobility
  • Latin America
  • Multiple generations
  • Schooling


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