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Intergenerational Mobility in Australia

  • Leigh Andrew

    ()

    (Australian National University)

Combining four surveys conducted over a forty year period, I calculate intergenerational earnings elasticities for Australia, using predicted earnings in parents' occupations as a proxy for actual parental earnings. In the most recent survey, the elasticity of sons' wages with respect to fathers' wages is around 0.2. Comparing this estimate with earlier surveys, I find little evidence that intergenerational mobility in Australia has significantly risen or fallen over time. Applying the same methodology to United States data, I find that Australian society exhibits more intergenerational mobility than the United States. My method appears to slightly overstate the degree of intergenerational mobility; if the true intergenerational earnings elasticity in the United States is 0.4–0.6 (as recent studies have suggested), then the intergenerational earnings elasticity in Australia is probably around 0.2–0.3.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 7 (2007)
Issue (Month): 2 (December)
Pages: 1-28

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:7:y:2007:i:2:n:6
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