The intergenerational mobility of liberal professions

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

April 15, 2018


By using university administrative and survey data on Italian graduates, we analyse the intergenerational transmission of liberal professions. We find that having a father who is a liberal professional has a positive and significant effect on the probability of a graduate of becoming a liberal professional. To assess the processes at work in this intergenerational transmission, we evaluate the effect of having a liberal professional father on the probabilities to undertake each of the compulsory steps required to become a liberal professional, which are choosing a university degree providing access to a liberal profession, completing a period of practice, passing a licensing exam and starting a liberal profession. Having a liberal professional father has a positive and statistically significant effect on the probability to complete a compulsory period of practice and to start a liberal profession; whereas there does not seem to be an effect on the type of degree chosen and on passing the licensing examination, at least after controlling for child’s and parental formal human capital.

Published in

Labour Economics

Volume and page numbers

Volume: 51 , p.108 -120






Open Access

Under a Creative Commons license

Related Publications



Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest