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Brother correlations in earnings in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden compared to the United States

Author

Listed:
  • Markus Jäntti

    () (Department of Economics, University of Tampere, FIN-33014 Tampere, Finland)

  • Eva Österbacka

    () (Åbo Akademi, FIN-20500 Åbo, Finland)

  • Oddbjörn Raaum

    () (Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research, Gaustadallén 21, N-0349 Oslo, Norway)

  • Tor Eriksson

    () (Aarhus School of Business, DK-8210 Århus V, Denmark)

  • Anders Björklund

    () (SOFI, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden and IZA, Bonn)

Abstract

The correlation in economic status among siblings is a useful "omnibus measure" of the overall impact of family and community factors on adult economic status. In this study we compare brother correlations in long-run (permanent) earnings between the United States, on one hand, and the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden) on the other. Our base case results, based on very similar sample criteria and definitions for all countries, show that this correlation is above 0.40 in the United States and in the range 0.14-0.26 in the Nordic countries. Even though these results turn out to be somewhat sensitive to some assumptions that have to be made, we conclude that the family and community factors are more important determinants of long-run earnings in the United States than in the Nordic countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Markus Jäntti & Eva Österbacka & Oddbjörn Raaum & Tor Eriksson & Anders Björklund, 2002. "Brother correlations in earnings in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden compared to the United States," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(4), pages 757-772.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:15:y:2002:i:4:p:757-772
    Note: Received: 27 July 2000/Accepted: 7 March 2001
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Solon, Gary, 1999. "Intergenerational mobility in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 29, pages 1761-1800 Elsevier.
    2. Joseph G. Altonji & Thomas A. Dunn, 1991. "Relationships Among the Family Incomes and Labor Market Outcomes of Relatives," NBER Working Papers 3724, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Richard B. Freeman & Lawrence F. Katz, 1995. "Differences and Changes in Wage Structures," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free95-1, June.
    4. Bjorklund, Anders & Jantti, Markus, 1997. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in Sweden Compared to the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1009-1018, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational mobility; earnings inequality; long-run earnings;

    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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