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Measuring the link between intergenerational occupational mobility and earnings: evidence from eight European countries

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  • Michele Raitano

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  • Francesco Vona

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Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between family background and earnings using relative social mobility to decompose residual background correlations, namely the effect of background on earnings left after controlling for background-related intervening factors. Using the European Union Statistics on Income and Living Conditions for 8 countries, we first show that country differences in terms of intergenerational inequality concern residual background correlations and then decompose these correlations using changes in relative social positions. In immobile countries, we find that significant residual correlations are mainly driven by penalisation of upward mobility in the UK (glass ceiling) and by an insurance against downward mobility in Spain and Italy (parachute). In mobile countries, insignificant residual correlations mask heterogeneous returns to social mobility. While our findings for Southern countries hardly concur with human capital theory, the widespread emergence of glass ceiling effects appears to be consistent with this theory. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

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  • Michele Raitano & Francesco Vona, 2015. "Measuring the link between intergenerational occupational mobility and earnings: evidence from eight European countries," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 13(1), pages 83-102, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jecinq:v:13:y:2015:i:1:p:83-102
    DOI: 10.1007/s10888-014-9286-7
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Ciccarelli & Marco Di Domizio & Elena Fabrizi, 2017. "Some Remarks On The Causal Relationship Between Family Backgrounds And Neet Status," RIEDS - Rivista Italiana di Economia, Demografia e Statistica - Italian Review of Economics, Demography and Statistics, SIEDS Societa' Italiana di Economia Demografia e Statistica, vol. 71(3), pages 71-80, July-Sept.
    2. Silvia Avram & Olga Canto, 2016. "Labour outcomes and family background: Evidence from the EU during the recession," Working Papers 414, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    3. Michele Raitano & Francesco Vona, 2015. "Direct and Indirect Influences of Parental Background on Children's Earnings: a Comparison across Countries and Genders," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 83(4), pages 423-450, July.
    4. Andreoli, Francesco & Fusco, Alessio, 2019. "Robust cross-country analysis of inequality of opportunity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 182(C), pages 86-89.
    5. Gabriella Berloffa & Eleonora Matteazzi & Paola Villa, 2016. "Family background and youth labour market outcomes across Europe," Working Papers 393, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.
    6. Michele Raitano & Francesco Vona, 2015. "Measuring the link between intergenerational occupational mobility and earnings: evidence from eight European countries," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 13(1), pages 83-102, March.
    7. Francesco Vona, 2011. "Does the Expansion of Higher Education Reduce Educational Inequality? Evidence from 12 European Countries," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2011-12, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    8. Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan & Claudia Vittori, 2015. "Nonlinear Estimation of Lifetime Intergenerational Economic Mobility and the Role of Education," DoQSS Working Papers 15-03, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    9. Raitano Michele & Vona Francesco, 2018. "From the Cradle to the Grave: The Influence of Family Background on the Career Path of Italian Men," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 80(6), pages 1062-1088, December.
    10. Michele Raitano & Claudia Vittori & Francesco Vona, 2015. "The effect of parental background along the son's earnings distribution : does one model fit for all ?," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2015-18, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    11. Michele Raitano & Francesco Vona, 2018. "Nepotism vs specific skills : the effect of professional liberalization on returns to parental back grounds of italian lawyers," Sciences Po publications 36, Sciences Po.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational inequality; Returns to intergenerational occupational mobility; International comparison; Relative social positions;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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