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Intergenerational Occupational Mobility in Great Britain and the United States since 1850

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  • Jason Long
  • Joseph Ferrie
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    Abstract

    The US tolerates more inequality than Europe and believes its economic mobility is greater than Europe?s, though they had roughly equal rates of intergenerational occupational mobility in the late twentieth century. We extend this comparison into the nineteenth century using 10,000 nationally-representative British and US fathers and sons. The US was more mobile than Britain through 1900, so in the experience of those who created the US welfare state in the 1930s, the US had indeed been ?exceptional.? The US mobility lead over Britain was erased by the 1950s, as US mobility fell from its nineteenth century levels.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): 103 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 4 (June)
    Pages: 1109-37

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    Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:4:p:1109-37

    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.4.1109
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    References

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Joseph P. Ferrie, 2005. "History Lessons: The End of American Exceptionalism? Mobility in the United States Since 1850," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(3), pages 199-215, Summer.
    2. Nathan D. Grawe & Casey B. Mulligan, 2002. "Economic Interpretations of Intergenerational Correlations," NBER Working Papers 8948, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Thomas Piketty, 1994. "Social Mobility and Redistributive Politics," Working papers 94-15, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    4. Galenson, David W., 1991. "Economic Opportunity on the urban frontier: nativity, work, and wealth in early chicago," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(03), pages 581-603, September.
    5. Margo, Robert A., 2000. "Wages and Labor Markets in the United States, 1820-1860," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226505077.
    6. Gary Solon, 2002. "Cross-Country Differences in Intergenerational Earnings Mobility," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 59-66, Summer.
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    Cited by:
    1. Yu Xie & Alexandra Killewald, 2013. "Intergenerational Occupational Mobility in Great Britain and the United States since 1850: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 2003-20, August.
    2. Markus Jäntti & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2013. "Income Mobility," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 607, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    3. Ran Abramitzky & Leah Platt Boustan & Katherine Eriksson, 2012. "A Nation of Immigrants: Assimilation and Economic Outcomes in the Age of Mass Migration," NBER Working Papers 18011, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Hoyt Bleakley & Joseph P. Ferrie, 2013. "Shocking Behavior : Random Wealth in Antebellum Georgia and Human Capital Across Generations," NBER Working Papers 19348, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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