The transmission of longevity across generations: The case of the settler Cape Colony

Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP14/2013
 
Publication date: 2013
 
Author(s):
[protected email address] (Department of Economics, University of Cape Town)
[protected email address] (Department of Economics, University of Cape Town)
[protected email address] (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
[protected email address] (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
 
Abstract:

The literature on parent-child correlations in socioeconomic status provides little evidence on long-term multigenerational dynamics. This is because most studies of intergenerational status persistence are based on two (at most three) successive generations. Our analysis adds to the intergenerational mobility literature by studying the correlation in longevity across multiple generations of a historical population. By using information on birth and death dates of eighteenth and nineteenth century settlers in South Africa’s Cape Colony, we are able to estimate the intergenerational transmission of longevity, which is found to be positive and significant. Our analysis confirms one of the most consistent findings in the social sciences: the correlation between the status of parents and that of their offspring is positive and significant.

 
JEL Classification:

J62, N37

Keywords:

intergenerational mobility, persistence, social mobility, inequality, genealogical, Cape Colony

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1 March 2021
Even with the release of data showing a record high unemployment rate in 2020Q4, it turned out to be a fairly good week for the SA economy. Daily new COVID-19 infections remained well contained, while the second batch of 80 000 J&J vaccines arrived (albeit controversially with the grounded SAA being the carrier). In addition, relative to the October...

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