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How Much Can We Learn from International Comparisons of Intergenerational Mobility?

  • Jo Blanden

This paper summarises research on the relative level of intergenerational mobility - whether classified by income, social class, social status or education - considering observations from 65 countries. With the exception of social class, the different approaches reveal similar patterns. South America, other developing nations, southern European countries and France tending to have rather limited mobility while the Nordic countries exhibit strong mobility. Evidence for the US and Germany differs across the measures, with Germany immobile on education and class and fairly mobile on income and the reverse true for the US. These differences are likely explained by greater within-group income inequality and persistence in the US. The second part of the paper finds that mobility is negatively correlated with inequality and the returns to education and positively correlated with a nation's education spending.

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Paper provided by Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE in its series CEE Discussion Papers with number 0111.

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Date of creation: Nov 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cep:ceedps:0111
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  28. Heisz, Andrew & Corak, Miles, 1996. "The Intergenerational Income Mobility of Canadian Men," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1996089e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  29. Tom Hertz & Tamara Jayasundera & Patrizio Piraino & Sibel Selcuk & Nicole Smith & Alina Verashchagina, 2007. "The Inheritance of Educational Inequality: International Comparisons and Fifty-Year Trends," Working Papers 2007-013, American University, Department of Economics.
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