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Intergenerational top income mobility in Sweden: Capitalist dynasties in the land of equal opportunity?

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  • Björklund, Anders
  • Roine, Jesper
  • Waldenström, Daniel

Abstract

This paper presents new evidence on intergenerational mobility at the top of the income and earnings distributions. Using a large dataset of matched father-son pairs in Sweden, we find that intergenerational transmission is very strong at the top, more so for income than for earnings. At the extreme top (top 0.1%) income transmission is remarkable with an intergenerational elasticity of approximately 0.9. We also study potential transmission mechanisms and find that IQ, non-cognitive skills and education of the sons are all unlikely channels in explaining the strong transmission. Within the top percentile, increases in the income of the fathers, if they are related at all, are negatively associated with these variables. Wealth, on the other hand, has a significantly positive association. Our results suggest that Sweden, known for having relatively high intergenerational mobility in general, is a society in which transmission remains strong at the very top of the distribution and wealth is the most likely channel.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Public Economics.

Volume (Year): 96 (2012)
Issue (Month): 5 ()
Pages: 474-484

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Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:96:y:2012:i:5:p:474-484

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505578

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Keywords: Intergenerational income mobility; Top incomes; Earnings inequality; Income inequality; Welfare state; Transmission mechanisms;

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References

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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. The Upper Class and Wealth Inequality in Sweden
    by Tino in Super-Economy on 2013-04-30 19:04:00
  2. Sweden has lots of wealth inequality
    by Tyler Cowen in Marginal Revolution on 2014-05-30 06:32:32
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
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Cited by:
  1. Markus Jantti & Stephen P. Jenkins, 2014. "Income Mobility," Working Papers 319, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
  2. Judith Niehues & Andreas Peichl, 2014. "Upper bounds of inequality of opportunity: theory and evidence for Germany and the US," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 73-99, June.
  3. Abigail Mcknight & Brian Nolan, 2012. "GINI Intermediate Report WP 4: Social Impacts of Inequalities," GINI Discussion Papers wp4, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  4. Corak, Miles, 2013. "Income Inequality, Equality of Opportunity, and Intergenerational Mobility," IZA Discussion Papers 7520, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Johan Fritzell & Jennie Bacchus-hertzman & O. Bäckman & I. Borg & T. Ferrarini & K. Nelson, 2010. "GINI Country Report: Growing Inequalities and their Impacts in Sweden," GINI Country Reports sweden, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  6. Judith Niehues & Andreas Peichl, 2011. "Lower and Upper Bounds of Unfair Inequality: Theory and Evidence for Germany and the US," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 395, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
  7. Björklund, Anders & Roine, Jesper & Waldenström, Daniel, 2010. "Intergenerational top income mobility in Sweden: Capitalist dynasties in the land of equal opportunity?," Working Paper Series 9/2010, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  8. Niehues, J. (Judith) & Andreas Peichl, 2012. "GINI DP 34: Bounds of Unfair Inequality of Opportunity: Theory and Evidence for Germany and the US," GINI Discussion Papers 34, AIAS, Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies.
  9. Rolf Aaberge & Anthony B. Atkinson & Jørgen Modalsli, 2013. "The ins and outs of top income mobility," Discussion Papers 762, Research Department of Statistics Norway.
  10. William Nilsson, 2013. "Intergenerational Correlation Curves: Evidence from PSID," DEA Working Papers 58, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Departament d'Economía Aplicada.
  11. Cardak, Buly A. & Johnston, David W. & Martin, Vance L., 2013. "Intergenerational earnings mobility: A new decomposition of investment and endowment effects," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 39-47.
  12. Josephson, Malin & Karnehed, Nina & Lindahl, Erica & Persson, Helena, 2013. "Intergenerational transmission of long-term sick leave," Working Paper Series 2013:19, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  13. Judith Niehues & Andreas Peichl, 2012. "Bounds of Unfair Inequality of Opportunity: Theory and Evidence for Germany and the US," CESifo Working Paper Series 3815, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Stéphanie Jamet & Thomas Chalaux & Vincent Koen, 2013. "Labour Market and Social Policies to Foster More Inclusive Growth in Sweden," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1023, OECD Publishing.
  15. Jenderny, Katharina, 2013. "Mobility of top incomes in Germany," Discussion Papers 2013/7, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.

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