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Educational expansion, earnings compression and changes in intergenerational economic mobility : Evidence from French cohorts, 1931-1976

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  • Arnaud Lefranc

    () (THEMA, Universite de Cergy-Pontoise)

Abstract

This paper analyzes long-term trends in intergenerational earnings mobility in France. I estimate intergenerational earnings elasticities for male cohorts born between 1931 and 1975. This time period has witnessed important changes in the French labor market and educational system, in particular a large expansion in access to secondary and higher education as well as an important compression of earnings differentials. Intergenerational mobility is estimated using a two-sample instrumental variables approach. Over the period, intergenerational earnings mobility exhibits a V-shaped pattern. Mobility falls between cohorts born in the mid 1930s and those born in the mid 1950s, but subsequently rises. For cohorts born in the first half of the 1970s, age-adjusted intergenerational earnings elasticity amount to around .55. This value is significantly higher than the elasticity estimated for the baby-boom cohorts. It is also slightly lower than the elasticity estimated for cohorts born in the 1930s but the difference is not statistically significant. Changes in the extent of mobility mostly reflects the evolution of cross-section earnings inequality, rather than variations in positional mobility.

Suggested Citation

  • Arnaud Lefranc, 2011. "Educational expansion, earnings compression and changes in intergenerational economic mobility : Evidence from French cohorts, 1931-1976," THEMA Working Papers 2011-11, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  • Handle: RePEc:ema:worpap:2011-11
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    File URL: http://thema.u-cergy.fr/IMG/documents/2011-11.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Björklund, Anders & Jäntti, Markus & Lindquist, Matthew J., 2009. "Family background and income during the rise of the welfare state: Brother correlations in income for Swedish men born 1932-1968," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 671-680.
    2. Björklund, Anders & Jäntti, Markus & Lindquist, Matthew J., 2009. "Family background and income during the rise of the welfare state: Brother correlations in income for Swedish men born 1932-1968," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 671-680.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jantti, Markus & Jenkins, Stephen P., 2013. "Income mobility," ISER Working Paper Series 2013-23, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    2. Ben-Halima, B. & Chusseau, N. & Hellier, J., 2014. "Skill premia and intergenerational education mobility: The French case," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 50-64.
    3. Céline Lecavelier des Etangs-Levallois & Arnaud Lefranc, 2017. "Sibling correlations in terms of education, profession and earnings, in France," THEMA Working Papers 2017-12, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    4. Doan, Quang Hung & Nguyen, Ngoc Anh, 2016. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in Vietnam," MPRA Paper 70603, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. John Jerrim & Álvaro Choi & Rosa Simancas Rodríguez, 2014. "Two-sample two-stage least squares (TSTSLS) estimates of earnings mobility: how consistent are they?," Working Papers 2014/35, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
    6. John Jerrim & Alvaro Choi & Rosa Simancas Rodriguez, 2014. "Two-Sample Two-Stage Least Squares (TSTSLS) estimates of earnings mobility: how consistent are they?," DoQSS Working Papers 14-17, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    7. Arnaud Lefranc & Fumiaki Ojima & Takashi Yoshida, 2014. "Intergenerational earnings mobility in Japan among sons and daughters: levels and trends," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, pages 91-134.
    8. Hellier, Joël, 2017. "Stratified higher education,social mobility at the top and efficiency: The case of the French ‘Grandes écoles’," MPRA Paper 76724, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Arnaud Lefranc & Fumiaki Ojima & Takashi Yoshida, 2014. "Intergenerational earnings mobility in Japan among sons and daughters : levels and trends ," Post-Print hal-01648188, HAL.
    10. Arnaud Lefranc & Fumiaki Ojima & Takashi Yoshida, 2014. "Intergenerational earnings mobility in Japan among sons and daughters: levels and trends," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, pages 91-134.
    11. Elisa S. Brezis & Joel Hellier, 2016. "Social Mobility and Higher-Education Policy," Working Papers 095, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational mobility; earnings; inequality; trends; elasticity; correlation; education; France.;

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • D3 - Microeconomics - - Distribution
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

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