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Intergenerational Persistence in Income and Social Class: The Impact of Within-Group Inequality

  • Jo Blanden
  • Paul Gregg
  • Lindsey Macmillan

Family income is found to be more closely related to sons' earnings for a cohort born in 1970 compared to one born in 1958. This result is in stark contrast to the finding on the basis of social class; intergenerational mobility for this outcome is found to be unchanged. Our aim here is to explore the reason for this divergence. We derive a formal framework which relates mobility in measured family income/earnings to mobility in social class. Building on this framework we then test a number of alternative hypotheses to explain the difference between the trends, finding evidence of an increase in the intergenerational persistence of the permanent component of income that is unrelated to social class. We reject the hypothesis that the observed decline in income mobility is a consequence of the poor measurement of permanent family income in the 1958 cohort.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1242.

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Date of creation: Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1242
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg, 2004. "Family income and educational attainment: a review of approaches and evidence for Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19461, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux, 2010. "Recent Developments in Intergenerational Mobility," NBER Working Papers 15889, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Steven Haider & Gary Solon, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variation in the Association between Current and Lifetime Earnings," NBER Working Papers 11943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan, 2007. "Accounting for Intergenerational Income Persistence: Noncognitive Skills, Ability and Education," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(519), pages C43-C60, 03.
  5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521827607 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Nathan D . Grawe, 2004. "The 3-day Week of 1974 and Earnings Data Reliability in the Family Expenditure Survey and the National Child Development Study," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 66(4), pages 567-579, 09.
  7. Peter Gottschalk & Minh Huynh, 2010. "Are Earnings Inequality and Mobility Overstated? The Impact of Nonclassical Measurement Error," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(2), pages 302-315, May.
  8. Philip Oreopoulos & Marianne Page & Ann Huff Stevens, 2005. "The Intergenerational Effect of Worker Displacement," NBER Working Papers 11587, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Anders Björklund & Markus Jäntti, 2000. "Intergenerational mobility of socio-economic status in comparative perspective," Nordic Journal of Political Economy, Nordic Journal of Political Economy, vol. 26, pages 3-32.
  10. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
  11. Jo Blanden, 2004. "Family Income and Educational Attainment: A Review of Approaches and Evidence for Britain," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 245-263, Summer.
  12. McIntosh, James & Munk, Martin D., 2009. "Social class, family background, and intergenerational mobility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 107-117, January.
  13. Dickens, Richard, 2000. "The Evolution of Individual Male Earnings in Great Britain: 1975-95," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 27-49, January.
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