.ISSN (e) 1759-7331
(print) 1759-7323
Quantitative Economics
An open-access journal in quantitative economics
Journal of the
Econometric Society
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Quantitative Economics, Volume 9, Issue 3 (November 2018)

Estimation of dynastic life‐cycle discrete choice models

George‐Levi Gayle, Limor Golan, Mehmet A. Soytas


This paper explores the estimation of a class of life‐cycle discrete choice dynastic models. It provides a new representation of the value function for these class of models. It compare a multistage conditional choice probability (CCP) estimator based on the new value function representation with a modified version of the full solution maximum likelihood estimator (MLE) in a Monte Carlo study. The modified CCP estimator performs comparably to the MLE in a finite sample but greatly reduces the computational cost. Using the proposed estimator, we estimate a dynastic model and use the estimated model to conduct counterfactual simulations to investigate the role Nature versus Nurture in intergenerational mobility. We find that Nature accounts for 20 percent of the observed intergenerational immobility at the bottom of income distribution. That means that 80 percent of mobility at the bottom of the income distribution is explained by economic decision and economic/institutional constraints.
Discrete choice models dynastic models intergenerational mobility nature versus nurture C13 J13 J22 J62

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