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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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File URL: http://cee.lse.ac.uk/ceedps/ceedp111.pdf
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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
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cee.lse.ac.uk/publications.htm

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  1. Patrizio Piraino, 2006. "Comparable Estimates of Intergenerational Income Mobility in Italy," Department of Economics University of Siena 471, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
  2. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan, 2013. "Intergenerational Persistence in Income and Social Class: The Impact of Within-Group Inequality," CEP Discussion Papers dp1242, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. Nicoletti Cheti & Ermisch John F, 2008. "Intergenerational Earnings Mobility: Changes across Cohorts in Britain," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-38, January.
  4. Steven Haider & Gary Solon, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variation in the Association between Current and Lifetime Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1308-1320, September.
  5. Lorraine Dearden & Steven McIntosh & Michal Myck & Anna Vignoles, 2000. "The Returns to Academic and Vocational Qualifications in Britain," CEE Discussion Papers 0004, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  6. Thorsten Vogel, 2006. "Reassessing Intergenerational Mobility in Germany and the United States: The Impact of Differences in Lifecycle Earnings Patterns," SFB 649 Discussion Papers SFB649DP2006-055, Sonderforschungsbereich 649, Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany.
  7. Dearden, Lorraine & Machin, Stephen & Reed, Howard, 1997. "Intergenerational Mobility in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 47-66, January.
  8. Gabriela Schütz & Heinrich Ursprung & Ludger Woessmann, 2005. "Education Policy and Equality of Opportunity," CESifo Working Paper Series 1518, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Andrew Leigh, 2007. "How Closely Do Top Income Shares Track Other Measures of Inequality?," CEPR Discussion Papers 562, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  10. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521827607 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Psacharopoulos, George & Patrinos, Harry Anthony, 2002. "Returns to investment in education : a further update," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2881, The World Bank.
  12. Dan Andrews & Andrew Leigh, 2008. "More Inequality, Less Social Mobility," CEPR Discussion Papers 566, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  13. Nilsen, Øivind Anti & Vaage, Kjell & Aakvik, Arild & Jacobsen, Karl, 2008. "Estimates of Intergenerational Elasticities Based on Lifetime Earnings," IZA Discussion Papers 3709, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. 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.
  15. Daniel Aaronson & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2005. "Intergenerational economic mobility in the U.S., 1940 to 2000," Working Paper Series WP-05-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  16. Zimmerman, David J, 1992. "Regression toward Mediocrity in Economic Stature," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 409-29, June.
  17. Heisz, Andrew & Corak, Miles, 1996. "The Intergenerational Income Mobility of Canadian Men," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1996089e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  18. Espen Bratberg & Oivind Anti Nilsen & Kjell Vaage, 2005. "Intergenerational Earnings Mobility in Norway: Levels and Trends," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(3), pages 419-435, 09.
  19. Bhashkar Mazumder, 2005. "Fortunate Sons: New Estimates of Intergenerational Mobility in the United States Using Social Security Earnings Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 235-255, May.
  20. Anders Bohlmark & Matthew J. Lindquist, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variations in the Association between Current and Lifetime Income: Replication and Extension for Sweden," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 879-900, October.
  21. Dunn Christopher E, 2007. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Lifetime Earnings: Evidence from Brazil," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-42, October.
  22. Leigh Andrew, 2007. "Intergenerational Mobility in Australia," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-28, December.
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