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Intergenerational Earnings Mobilities – How Sensitive are they to Income Measures?


  • Mohammad Azhar Hussain

    (University of Copenhagen)

  • Martin D. Munk

    (Copenhagen Institute of Technology-Aalborg University)

  • Jens Bonke

    (Rockwool Foundation Research Unit)


This article gives various estimates of intergenerational earnings mobility by applying different earning periods, age brackets, and earning components. The methodology enables us to investigate how sensitive results are to different delimitations and, thereby, to make more accurate international comparisons of intergenerational earnings mobility. We find that intergenerational earnings mobility is found to be substantially lower when hourly wage rates rather than annual earnings are used, whether the latter are inclusive or exclusive of public transfers. Moreover, when the same specifications are applied for Denmark as for other countries, we find that intergenerational earnings mobility from father to son in Denmark is on the same level as in Sweden, Norway, and Finland, whereas the intergenerational earnings mobility in all the Nordic countries is found to be higher than in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Mohammad Azhar Hussain & Martin D. Munk & Jens Bonke, 2009. "Intergenerational Earnings Mobilities – How Sensitive are they to Income Measures?," Journal of Income Distribution, Ad libros publications inc., vol. 18(3-4), pages 79-92, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:jid:journl:y:2009:v:18:i:3-4:p:79-92

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    Cited by:

    1. Rasmus Landersø & James J. Heckman, 2017. "The Scandinavian Fantasy: Sources of Intergenerational Mobility in Denmark and the US," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 119(1), pages 178-230, January.
    2. Paul Bingley & Lorenzo Cappellari, 2019. "Correlation of Brothers' Earnings and Intergenerational Transmission," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 370-383, May.
    3. Munk, Martin D. & Bonke, Jens & Hussain, M. Azhar, 2016. "Intergenerational top income persistence: Denmark half the size of Sweden," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 140(C), pages 31-33.
    4. John Jerrim & Álvaro Choi & Rosa Simancas Rodríguez, 2014. "Two-sample two-stage least squares (TSTSLS) estimates of earnings mobility: how consistent are they?," Working Papers 2014/35, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    5. Coban, Mustafa & Sauerhammer, Sarah, 2017. "Transmission channels of intergenerational income mobility: Empirical evidence from Germany and the Unites States," Discussion Paper Series 138, Julius Maximilian University of Würzburg, Chair of Economic Order and Social Policy.
    6. repec:ctc:serie1:def6 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    intergenerational mobility; sensitivity analyses; inequality; international comparison;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models


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