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Upward Social Mobility, Well-being and Political Preferences: Evidence from the BHPS

  • Andrew E. Clark
  • Emanuela D'Angelo

The paper uses 18 waves of BHPS data to provide evidence of the roles of both own social status and upward mobility relative to one's parents on job and life satisfaction, preferences for redistribution, pro-public sector attitudes and voting. Both own social status and greater mobility with respect to parents are positively associated with subjective well-being. However, this symmetric effect disappears for political preferences. While greater social status is associated with less favourable attitudes to redistribution and the public sector, greater upward mobility is associated with more Left-wing attitudes. These attitudes translate into actual reported voting behaviour. Upwards social mobility produces satisfied Left-wingers.

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File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp1252.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1252.

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Date of creation: Dec 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1252
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  4. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1994. "Is Inequality Harmful for Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 600-621, June.
  5. Jo Blanden & Stephen Machin, 2013. "Educational Inequality and The Expansion of UK Higher Education," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 60(5), pages 578-596, November.
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  7. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2001. "Well-Being Over Time in Britain and the USA," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 616, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  8. Engellandt, Axel & Riphahn, Regina T., 2005. "Temporary contracts and employee effort," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 281-299, June.
  9. Oswald, A.J., 1997. "Happiness and Economic Performance," Papers 18, Centre for Economic Performance & Institute of Economics.
  10. Lewis M. Segal & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1997. "The Growth of Temporary Services Work," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 117-136, Spring.
  11. Thomas Piketty, 1994. "Social Mobility and Redistributive Politics," Working papers 94-15, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  12. AndrewE. Clark & Nicolai Kristensen & Niels Westergård-Nielsen, 2009. "Job Satisfaction and Co-worker Wages: Status or Signal?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(536), pages 430-447, 03.
  13. Blanden, Jo & Gregg, Paul & Macmillan, Lindsey, 2007. "Accounting for Intergenerational Income Persistence: Noncognitive Skills, Ability and Education," IZA Discussion Papers 2554, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Di Tella, Rafael & Alesina, Alberto & MacCulloch, Robert, 2004. "Inequality and Happiness: Are Europeans and Americans Different?," Scholarly Articles 4553007, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  15. 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.
  16. Checchi, Daniele & Ichino, Andrea & Rustichini, Aldo, 1999. "More equal but less mobile?: Education financing and intergenerational mobility in Italy and in the US," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 351-393, December.
  17. La Ferrara, Eliana & Alesina, Alberto, 2005. "Preferences for Redistribution in the Land of Opportunities," Scholarly Articles 4552533, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  18. Clark, Andrew E. & Frijters, Paul & Shields, Michael A., 2007. "Relative Income, Happiness and Utility: An Explanation for the Easterlin Paradox and Other Puzzles," IZA Discussion Papers 2840, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Andrew E. Clark and Andrew J. Oswald, . "Satisfaction and Comparison Income," Economics Discussion Papers 419, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  20. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2000. "Who wants to redistribute?: The tunnel effect in 1990s Russia," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 87-104, April.
  21. Easterlin, Richard A, 2001. "Income and Happiness: Towards an Unified Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(473), pages 465-84, July.
  22. Peiro, Amado, 2006. "Happiness, satisfaction and socio-economic conditions: Some international evidence," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 348-365, April.
  23. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J. & Warr, Peter B., 1994. "Is job satisfaction u-shaped in age ?," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9407, CEPREMAP.
  24. Andrea Ichino & Regina T. Riphahn, 2005. "The Effect of Employment Protection on Worker Effort: Absenteeism During and After Probation," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(1), pages 120-143, 03.
  25. Gabriella Conti & Stephen Pudney, 2011. "Survey Design and the Analysis of Satisfaction," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 1087-1093, August.
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