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Intergenerational Mobility in Britain: Evidence from Unemployment Patterns

  • O'Neill, Donal
  • Sweetman, Olive

Recent papers have examined the intergenerational transmission of well-being by looking at the relationship between parents' and children's income. However, by concentrating on those who are working these studies exclude some of the very poorest in society, the unemployed. In this paper, the authors extend the empirical work on intergenerational welfare in the United Kingdom by looking at the links between fathers' and sons' unemployment histories. Using an approach which takes account of both incidence and intensity of son's unemployment, they provide further evidence showing that parental background is an important determinant of a child's future welfare. A son whose father was unemployed twenty years earlier is almost twice as likely to be unemployed as a son whose father was not unemployed. Furthermore, this dependency remains significant after controlling for a range of son's characteristics including education, ability and family composition. Copyright 1998 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd

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Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Oxford in its journal Oxford Bulletin of Economics & Statistics.

Volume (Year): 60 (1998)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 431-47

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Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:60:y:1998:i:4:p:431-47
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  1. Gottschalk, Peter, 1996. "Is the correlation in welfare participation across generations spurious?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 1-25, December.
  2. Arulampalam, Wiji & Booth, Alison L & Elias, Peter, 1997. "Modelling Work-Related Training and Training Effects Using Count Data Techniques," CEPR Discussion Papers 1582, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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