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Family background and income during the rise of the welfare state: Brother correlations in income for Swedish men born 1932-1968

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  • Björklund, Anders
  • Jäntti, Markus
  • Lindquist, Matthew J.

Abstract

We investigate if the association between family background and income in Sweden has changed for men born between 1932 and 1968. Our main finding is that the share of the variance in long-run income that is attributable to family background, the so-called brother correlation in income, has fallen by some 17% from 0.49 for the cohorts of brothers born in the early 1930s to below 0.32 for the cohorts born around 1950. From then on, the correlations have inched back up to around 0.37. We report suggestive evidence that the decline is driven by changes in education.

Suggested Citation

  • Björklund, Anders & Jäntti, Markus & Lindquist, Matthew J., 2009. "Family background and income during the rise of the welfare state: Brother correlations in income for Swedish men born 1932-1968," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(5-6), pages 671-680, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:pubeco:v:93:y:2009:i:5-6:p:671-680
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    Keywords

    Sibling correlation Intergenerational mobility Family background;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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