[Journal:] Journal of Population Economics [ISSN:] 0933-1433 [Volume:] 27 [Issue:] 1 [Pages:] 69-89
This paper is the first to analyze the impact of family background on permanent earnings based on sibling correlations in Germany and to provide a cross-country comparison of Germany, Denmark, and USA. The main findings are that family and community background has a stronger influence on permanent earnings in Germany than in Denmark, and a comparable influence is found in USA. This holds true for both male and female siblings. A deeper analysis of Germany shows that family background also plays an important role in explaining variations in family income, wages, education, and risk attitudes.