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Intergenerational earnings mobility in Japan among sons and daughters : levels and trends

  • Arnaud Lefranc


    (THEMA, Universite de Cergy-Pontoise)

  • Fumiaki Ojima

    (Department of Sociology, Doshisha University)

  • Takashi Yoshida

    (Institute of Social Science, Tokyo University)

This paper estimates the extent of intergenerational income mobility in Japan among sons and daughters born between 1935 and 1975. Our estimates rely on a two-sample instrumental variables approach using representative data from the Japanese Social Strat- ification and Mobility (SSM) surveys, collected between 1965 and 2005. Father's income is predicted on the basis of a rich set of variables including education, occupation and job characteristics and we discuss changes in the Japanese earnings structure for cohorts born between the early 1900s and the 1960s. Our main results indicate that the intergenerational income elasticity (IGE) in Japan is around .3 for both sons and daughters, a rather low figure in comparative perspective. We discuss the sensitivity of the IGE to using either personal or family income as the income variable for both fathers and children. Laslty, we also examine changes across cohorts in the IGE, as well as the existence of non-linearities in the intergenerational transmission of income. Results indicate that intergenerational mobility has been roughly stable over the last decades and point to a convex relationship between parental income and child's achievement.

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Paper provided by THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise in its series THEMA Working Papers with number 2011-10.

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Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ema:worpap:2011-10
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