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The Contribution of Early‐life Versus Labour Market Factors to Intergenerational Income Persistence: A Comparison of the UK and Sweden


  • Anders Björklund
  • Markus Jäntti
  • Martin Nybom


We explore whether differences in intergenerational income mobility between the UK and Sweden show up early in life, finding stronger associations between parental income and birthweight, height and school performance in the UK. We investigate whether these differentials can account for the country difference in income mobility. While differences in the associations in birthweight and height are too weak to matter, school performance does account for a substantial part of this difference. However, country differences in the earnings returns to these skills are at least as important as the differences in the link between parental income and skills.

Suggested Citation

  • Anders Björklund & Markus Jäntti & Martin Nybom, 2017. "The Contribution of Early‐life Versus Labour Market Factors to Intergenerational Income Persistence: A Comparison of the UK and Sweden," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(605), pages 71-94.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:econjl:v:127:y:2017:i:605:p:f71-f94.

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    Cited by:

    1. Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan & Claudia Vittori, 2019. "Intergenerational income mobility: access to top jobs, the low-pay no-pay cycle and the role of education in a common framework," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 32(2), pages 501-528, April.

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