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The changing geography of intergenerational mobility

Author

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  • Bell, Brian
  • Blundell, Jack
  • Machin, Stephen

Abstract

Does the importance of your family background on how far you get in adulthood also depend on where you grow up? For many countries, Britain included, a paucity of data has made this a question with very little reliable evidence to answer. To redress this evidence lacuna, we present a new analysis of intergenerational mobility across three cohorts in England and Wales using linked decennial census microdata. As well as testing the robustness of existing survey evidence on mobility trends over time, this large dataset permits analysis to be undertaken at a more geographically disaggregated level than was previously feasible. Evidence is presented on occupational wages, home ownership and education. Our new analysis shows a slight decline in occupation-wage mobility and a substantial decline in home ownership mobility over the late 20th century in England and Wales, while the picture for educational mobility is less clear. Focusing on the most recent cohort, we find marked geographic differences in mobility. We find that occupation-wage mobility is exceptionally high in London, while ex-industrial and mining areas experience the lowest rates of mobility. Areas with low occupation-wage mobility were more likely to vote to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum. Home ownership mobility is negatively correlated with house prices and not correlated with occupation-wage mobility, suggesting that geographical comparisons based on one dimension of mobility need not always align with those based on alternative measures.

Suggested Citation

  • Bell, Brian & Blundell, Jack & Machin, Stephen, 2018. "The changing geography of intergenerational mobility," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 91714, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:91714
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/91714/
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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.
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    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.
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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. Disney, Richard & Gathergood, John & Machin, Stephen & Sandi, Matteo, 2020. "Does homeownership reduce crime? A radical housing reform in Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 108426, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Sunku Prasad, J. & Muthukumar, P. & Desai, Fenil & Basu, Dipankar N. & Rahman, Muhammad M., 2019. "A critical review of high-temperature reversible thermochemical energy storage systems," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 254(C).
    4. Disney, Richard & Gathergood, John & Machin, Stephen & Sandi, Matteo, 2020. "Does homeownership reduce crime? A radical housing reform from the UK," CFS Working Paper Series 651, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • 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

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