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Sandy Black (Columbia University)

March 27 @ 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Sandra E. Black is Professor of Economics and International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. She received her B.A. from UC Berkeley and her Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University.  Since that time, she worked as an Economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and an Assistant, Associate, and ultimately Professor in the Department of Economics at UCLA, and held the Audre and Bernard Centennial Chair in Economics and Public Affairs in the Department of Economics at the University of Texas at Austin before arriving at Columbia University. She is currently an Editor of the Journal of Labor Economics and was previously a Co-Editor and Editor of the Journal of Human Resources.  Dr. Black is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) and the Director of the NBER Study Group on Economic Mobility. She served as a Member of Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers from August 2015-January 2017.  Her research focuses on the role of early life experiences on the long-run outcomes of children, as well as issues of gender and discrimination.

Title: Intergenerational Correlations in Longevity in the US

Abstract: We examine longevity and its transmission across generations using a unique dataset containing about more than 26 million individuals born between 1880 and 1920. We first document new facts about the transmission of longevity using both absolute and relative mobility measures. Absolute mobility was high: between 45 and 55 percent of individuals lived longer than their parents, though it was much higher for women than men. Relative measures on the other hand show substantially less variation across time and subpopulations. The intergenerational correlation in longevity (a measure of persistence rather than mobility) is 0.09 for both sexes – this low correlation is observed across races, education groups, cohorts and birth states. Finally, we document that the intergenerational persistence of longevity is much smaller than the persistence in socio-economic status. Moreover, correlations in longevity and in education are largely independent of each other, suggesting that mobility in wellbeing was larger than measures of income suggest.

The paper can be found here.


March 27
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
Event Category:


Hemmerdinger Screening Room, Hunter College Library Room East 706
115 E 68th Street
New York, NY 10065 United States
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