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"And Yet, It Moves": Intergenerational Mobility in Italy

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  • Acciari, Paolo
  • Polo, Alberto
  • Violante, Giovanni L.

Abstract

We link administrative data on tax returns across two generations of Italians to study the degree of intergenerational mobility. We estimate that a child with parental income below the median is expected to belong to the 44th percentile of its own income distribution as an adult, and the probability of moving from the bottom to the top quintile of the income distribution within a generation is 0.10. The rank-rank correlation is 0.25, and rank persistence at the top is significantly higher than elsewhere in the income distribution. Upward mobility is higher for sons, first-born children, children of self-employed parents, and for those who migrate once adults. The data reveal large variation in child outcomes conditional on parental income rank. Part of this variation is explained by the location where the child grew up. Provinces in Northern Italy, the richest area of the country, display upward mobility levels 3-4 times as large as those in the South. This regional variation is strongly correlated with local labor market conditions, indicators of family instability, and school quality.

Suggested Citation

  • Acciari, Paolo & Polo, Alberto & Violante, Giovanni L., 2019. ""And Yet, It Moves": Intergenerational Mobility in Italy," CEPR Discussion Papers 13646, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13646
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    Cited by:

    1. David (David Patrick) Madden, 2019. "BMI Mobility and Obesity Transitions Among Children in Ireland," Working Papers 201922, School of Economics, University College Dublin.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J61 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Geographic Labor Mobility; Immigrant Workers
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics

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