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Author: Zhou, Xiang
Resulting in 5 citations.
1. Bloome, Deirdre
Dyer, Shauna
Zhou, Xiang
Educational Inequality, Educational Expansion, and Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States
Presented: Chicago IL, Population Association of America Annual Meeting, April 2017
Cohort(s): NLSY79, NLSY97
Publisher: Population Association of America
Keyword(s): Educational Attainment; Intergenerational Patterns/Transmission; Mobility, Economic

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

How has intergenerational income mobility remained stable in the United States while educational inequalities have risen? Scholars predicted that mobility would decline as college graduates became increasingly likely to have higher-income parents and higher-income adult families than people without college degrees. We show that mobility remained stable because rising educational inequalities were offset by two factors. First, because mobility is highest among college graduates, educational expansion---more people completing college, whatever their parents' income---increased income mobility. Second, non-educational pathways linking parents' and children's incomes weakened. We introduce new methods to connect trends in intergenerational income mobility, educational inequality, and educational expansion. Using National Longitudinal Survey of Youth data, 1979 and 1997 cohorts, we reveal that massive educational expansion only partially offset rising educational inequality. Income mobility remained stable across cohorts because educational expansion and non-educational change---including delayed transitions to adulthood---put upward pressure on mobility.
Bibliography Citation
Bloome, Deirdre, Shauna Dyer and Xiang Zhou. "Educational Inequality, Educational Expansion, and Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States." Presented: Chicago IL, Population Association of America Annual Meeting, April 2017.
2. Bloome, Deirdre
Dyer, Shauna
Zhou, Xiang
Educational Inequality, Educational Expansion, and Intergenerational Income Persistence in the United States
American Sociological Review 83,6 (December 2018): 1215-1253.
Also: ttps://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0003122418809374
Cohort(s): NLSY79, NLSY97
Publisher: American Sociological Association
Keyword(s): Educational Attainment; Educational Returns; Family Income; Income; Intergenerational Patterns/Transmission; Mobility, Economic

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

The children of high-income parents often become high-income adults, while their low-income peers often become low-income adults. Education plays a central role in this intergenerational income persistence. Because education-based inequalities grew in recent decades, many scholars predicted that intergenerational income persistence would increase. However, previous research suggests that it remained stable across recent cohorts. We address this puzzle. Analyzing National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth data, we find that growing educational inequality by parental income, along with rising economic returns to education, increased intergenerational persistence, as scholars expected. However, two countervailing trends offset this increase. The expansion of higher education reduced persistence, because completing college helps low-income children become high-income adults. Yet, this reduction in persistence was far from enough to offset the increase in persistence associated with growing educational inequality and rising educational returns. Intergenerational persistence would have increased if not for another change: within educational groups, parental income became less predictive of adult income. New methodological tools underlie these findings, tools that quantify, for the first time, education's full force in intergenerational income persistence. These findings suggest that to reduce intergenerational persistence, educational policies should focus less on how many people complete college and more on who completes college.
Bibliography Citation
Bloome, Deirdre, Shauna Dyer and Xiang Zhou. "Educational Inequality, Educational Expansion, and Intergenerational Income Persistence in the United States." American Sociological Review 83,6 (December 2018): 1215-1253.
3. Cheng, Siwei
Brand, Jennie E.
Zhou, Xiang
Xie, Yu
Who Benefits First? Whose Benefits Last? Economic Returns on College Over the Life Cycle
Presented: Denver CO, Population Association of America Annual Meeting, April 2018
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: Population Association of America
Keyword(s): College Degree; Earnings; Educational Returns; Life Cycle Research; Propensity Scores

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Most prior research on the college premium focuses on earnings at a certain age or averaged across the lifetime. We believe, however, that there are three important reasons for considering these college returns as varying over the life cycle. First, the economic benefits of college may emerge slowly rather than instantaneously over the career, therefore, college may be associated with a higher initial earnings as well as faster earnings growth rate. Second, individuals with varying propensity of attending college may also reap the returns to college at different life stages, which leads to the heterogeneity in the college premium across the propensity spectrum. Third, the life cycle variations in college premium may further depend on family and personal characteristics. Applying propensity-score based methods to data from NLSY79, our preliminary findings show that these three arguments are supported by empirical evidence in the United States.
Bibliography Citation
Cheng, Siwei, Jennie E. Brand, Xiang Zhou and Yu Xie. "Who Benefits First? Whose Benefits Last? Economic Returns on College Over the Life Cycle." Presented: Denver CO, Population Association of America Annual Meeting, April 2018.
4. Zhou, Xiang
Equalization or Selection? Reassessing the "Meritocratic Power" of a College Degree in Intergenerational Income Mobility
American Sociological Review published online (30 April 2019): DOI: 10.1177/0003122419844992.
Also: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0003122419844992
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: American Sociological Association
Keyword(s): College Graduates; Income; Intergenerational Patterns/Transmission; Mobility; Mobility, Economic

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Intergenerational mobility is higher among college graduates than among people with lower levels of education. In light of this finding, researchers have characterized a college degree as a great equalizer leveling the playing field, and proposed that expanding higher education would promote mobility. This line of reasoning rests on the implicit assumption that the relatively high mobility observed among college graduates reflects a causal effect of college completion on intergenerational mobility, an assumption that has rarely been rigorously evaluated. This article bridges this gap. Using a novel reweighting technique, I estimate the degree of intergenerational income mobility among college graduates purged of selection processes that may drive up observed mobility in this subpopulation. Analyzing data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979, I find that once selection processes are adjusted for, intergenerational income mobility among college graduates is very close to that among non-graduates. This finding suggests that expanding the pool of college graduates per se is unlikely to boost intergenerational income mobility in the United States. To promote mobility, public investments in higher education (e.g., federal and state student aid programs) should be targeted at low-income youth.
Bibliography Citation
Zhou, Xiang. "Equalization or Selection? Reassessing the "Meritocratic Power" of a College Degree in Intergenerational Income Mobility." American Sociological Review published online (30 April 2019): DOI: 10.1177/0003122419844992.
5. Zhou, Xiang
Xie, Yu
Propensity Score-based Methods Versus MTE-based Methods in Causal Inference: Identification, Estimation, and Application
Sociological Methods and Research 45,1 (February 2016): 3-40.
Also: http://smr.sagepub.com/content/45/1/3
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: Sage Publications
Keyword(s): College Education; Educational Returns; Modeling, Instrumental Variables; Propensity Scores

Permission to reprint the abstract has not been received from the publisher.

Since the seminal introduction of the propensity score (PS) by Rosenbaum and Rubin, PS-based methods have been widely used for drawing causal inferences in the behavioral and social sciences. However, the PS approach depends on the ignorability assumption: there are no unobserved confounders once observed covariates are taken into account. For situations where this assumption may be violated, Heckman and his associates have recently developed a novel approach based on marginal treatment effects (MTEs). In this article, we (1) explicate the consequences for PS-based methods when aspects of the ignorability assumption are violated, (2) compare PS-based methods and MTE-based methods by making a close examination of their identification assumptions and estimation performances, (3) apply these two approaches in estimating the economic return to college using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) of 1979 and discuss their discrepancies in results. When there is a sorting gain but no systematic baseline difference between treated and untreated units given observed covariates, PS-based methods can identify the treatment effect of the treated (TT). The MTE approach performs best when there is a valid and strong instrumental variable (IV). In addition, this article introduces the "smoothing-difference PS-based method," which enables us to uncover heterogeneity across people of different PSs in both counterfactual outcomes and treatment effects.
Bibliography Citation
Zhou, Xiang and Yu Xie. "Propensity Score-based Methods Versus MTE-based Methods in Causal Inference: Identification, Estimation, and Application." Sociological Methods and Research 45,1 (February 2016): 3-40.