An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility

  title={An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility},
  author={Gary Stanley Becker and Nigel Tomes},
  journal={Journal of Political Economy},
  pages={1153 - 1189}
The theory of inequality and intergenerational mobility presented in this essay assumes that each family maximizes a utility function spanning several generations. Utility depends on the consumption of parents and on the quantity and quality of their children. The income of children is raised when they receive more human and nonhuman capital from their parents. Their income is also raised by their "endowment" of genetically determined race, ability, and other characteristics, family reputation… 
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