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Intergenerational income immobility in Finland: contrasting roles for parental earnings and family income

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  • Robert Lucas
  • Sari Kerr

Abstract

An intergenerational model is developed, nesting heritable earning abilities and credit constraints limiting human capital investments in children. Estimates on a large, Finnish data panel indicate very low transmission from parental earnings, suggesting that the parameter of inherited earning ability is tiny. Family income, particularly during the phase of educating children, is shown to be much more important in shaping children’s lifetime earnings. This influence of parental incomes on children’s earnings rises as the children age because the returns to education rise. Despite Finland’s well-developed welfare state, persistence in economic status across generations is much higher than previously thought. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Lucas & Sari Kerr, 2013. "Intergenerational income immobility in Finland: contrasting roles for parental earnings and family income," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(3), pages 1057-1094, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:jopoec:v:26:y:2013:i:3:p:1057-1094
    DOI: 10.1007/s00148-012-0442-8
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    2. Aydemir, Abdurrahman & Yazici, Hakki, 2017. "Intergenerational Education Mobility and the Level of Development: Evidence from Turkey," IZA Discussion Papers 11164, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Mikael Lindahl & Mårten Palme & Sofia Sandgren Massih & Anna Sjögren, 2015. "Long-Term Intergenerational Persistence of Human Capital: An Empirical Analysis of Four Generations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(1), pages 1-33.
    4. Henri Salokangas, 2016. "The long-term effects of alcohol availability on mortality: Evidence from an alcohol reform," Discussion Papers 115, Aboa Centre for Economics.
    5. Gary Solon, 2018. "What Do We Know So Far about Multigenerational Mobility?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(612), pages 340-352, July.
    6. Kraay, Aart & McKenzie, David, 2014. "Do poverty traps exist ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6835, The World Bank.
    7. Ari Hyytinen & Pekka Ilmakunnas & Edvard Johansson & Otto Toivanen, 2019. "Heritability of lifetime earnings," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 17(3), pages 319-335, September.
    8. Aydemir, Abdurrahman B. & Yazici, Hakki, 2019. "Intergenerational education mobility and the level of development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 160-185.
    9. Juan C. Palomino & Gustavo A. Marrero & Juan G. Rodríguez, 2018. "One size doesn’t fit all: a quantile analysis of intergenerational income mobility in the U.S. (1980–2010)," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 16(3), pages 347-367, September.
    10. Arnaud Lefranc & Fumiaki Ojima & Takashi Yoshida, 2014. "Intergenerational earnings mobility in Japan among sons and daughters: levels and trends," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 27(1), pages 91-134, January.
    11. Colagrossi, Marco & d’Hombres, Béatrice & Schnepf, Sylke V, 2020. "Like (grand)parent, like child? Multigenerational mobility across the EU," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).
    12. Kroeger, Sarah & Thompson, Owen, 2016. "Educational mobility across three generations of American women," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 72-86.
    13. Chenhong Peng & Paul Siu Fai Yip & Yik Wa Law, 2019. "Intergenerational Earnings Mobility and Returns to Education in Hong Kong: A Developed Society with High Economic Inequality," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 143(1), pages 133-156, May.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational explanations panel; J62; J13; I21;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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