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Where is the Land of Hope and Glory?The Geography of Intergenerational Mobility in England and Wales

Author

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  • Brian Bell
  • Jack Blundell
  • Stephen Machin

Abstract

Does the importance of your family background on how far you get in adulthood also depend on where you grow up? For England and Wales, a paucity of data has made this a difficult question to reliably answer. This paper presents a new analysis of intergenerational mobility across three cohorts in England and Wales using hitherto previously unstudied linked decennial census microdata. These data permit study of mobility in occupation, home ownership and education, at the spatial level through time. In the aggregate, there is little overall change in occupational mobility, but a substantial decline in home ownership mobility over the late 20th century in England and Wales. The picture for educational mobility is less clear, because higher education expanded dramatically. In terms of geographical variation, there are strong sub-regional patterns, with four main results emerging. First, area-level differences in upward occupational mobility are highly persistent over time. Second, consistent with evidence from other countries, absolute and relative mobility are positively correlated for all measures and particularly strongly for home ownership. Third, there is a robust relationship between upward educational and upward occupational mobility. Last, there is a small negative relationship between upward home ownership mobility and upward occupational mobility, revealing that social mobility comparisons based on different outcomes can have different trends.

Suggested Citation

  • Brian Bell & Jack Blundell & Stephen Machin, 2018. "Where is the Land of Hope and Glory?The Geography of Intergenerational Mobility in England and Wales," CEP Discussion Papers dp1591, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1591
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    File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp1591.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan, 2010. "Intergenerational Persistence in Income and Social Class: The Impact of Within-Group Inequality," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 10/230, The Centre for Market and Public Organisation, University of Bristol, UK.
    2. Raj Chetty & Nathaniel Hendren, 2018. "The Impacts of Neighborhoods on Intergenerational Mobility II: County-Level Estimates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(3), pages 1163-1228.
    3. Miles Corak & Andrew Heisz, 1999. "The Intergenerational Earnings and Income Mobility of Canadian Men: Evidence from Longitudinal Income Tax Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(3), pages 504-533.
    4. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2001. "Can Falling Supply Explain the Rising Return to College for Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 705-746.
    5. Raj Chetty & Nathaniel Hendren, 2018. "The Impacts of Neighborhoods on Intergenerational Mobility I: Childhood Exposure Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 133(3), pages 1107-1162.
    6. Jo Blanden & Stephen Machin, 2017. "Home ownership and social mobility," CentrePiece - The Magazine for Economic Performance 508, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    7. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan, 2013. "Intergenerational persistence in income and social class: the effect of within-group inequality," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 176(2), pages 541-563, February.
    8. Jo Blanden & Stephen Machin, 2008. "Up and Down the Generational Income Ladder in Britain: Past Changes and Future Prospects," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 205(1), pages 101-116, July.
    9. Stefanie Heidrich, 2017. "Intergenerational mobility in Sweden: a regional perspective," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(4), pages 1241-1280, October.
    10. David Card & Ciprian Domnisoru & Lowell Taylor, 2018. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital: Evidence from the Golden Age of Upward Mobility," NBER Working Papers 25000, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Lee Elliot Major & Stephen Machin, 2018. "Social mobility and its enemies," CentrePiece - The Magazine for Economic Performance 541, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bertha Rohenkohl, 2019. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the UK:New evidence using the BHPS and Understanding Society," Working Papers 2019017, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
    2. Kesharwani, Rajkamal & Sun, Zeyi & Dagli, Cihan & Xiong, Haoyi, 2019. "Moving second generation biofuel manufacturing forward: Investigating economic viability and environmental sustainability considering two strategies for supply chain restructuring," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 242(C), pages 1467-1496.
    3. Li, Yu & Kesharwani, Rajkamal & Sun, Zeyi & Qin, Ruwen & Dagli, Cihan & Zhang, Meng & Wang, Donghai, 2020. "Economic viability and environmental impact investigation for the biofuel supply chain using co-fermentation technology," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 259(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    intergenerational mobility;

    JEL classification:

    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population
    • R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality

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