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On the Importance of Finnishing School: Half a Century of Inter-generational Economic Mobility in Finland

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  • Pekkala, Sari
  • Lucas, Robert E.B.

Abstract

Trends in inter-generational economic mobility in Finland are analyzed using panel data from 1950 through 1999 on more than 200 thousand sons and daughters born between 1930 and 1970. A significant decline is estimated in the inter-generational transmission elasticity from the 1930 birth cohort until the baby boom cohorts of the early 1950s. After that we observe no increase in the extent of mobility for the 1950s and 1960s birth cohorts. The quite dramatic transformation of the Finnish economy in the second half of the twentieth century is outlined in the paper. A decomposition of the intergenerational transmission elasticities across cohorts shows that most of the decline in transmission reflected a reduction in the impact of family income on duration of children's education accompanied by a decline in the returns to schooling. Despite the large volume of rural - urban migration during this period of transformation, regional mobility played only a minor role in increasing economic mobility.

Suggested Citation

  • Pekkala, Sari & Lucas, Robert E.B., 2005. "On the Importance of Finnishing School: Half a Century of Inter-generational Economic Mobility in Finland," Discussion Papers 359, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:fer:dpaper:359
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    1. Jäntti, Markus & Bratsberg, Bernt & Røed, Knut & Raaum, Oddbjørn & Naylor, Robin & Österbacka, Eva & Bjørklund, Anders & Eriksson, Tor, 2005. "American exceptionalism in a new light: a comparison of intergenerational earnings mobility in the Nordic countries, the United Kingdom and the United States," Memorandum 34/2005, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    2. Pekkarinen, Tuomas & Uusitalo, Roope & Pekkala Kerr, Sari, 2006. "Education Policy and Intergenerational Income Mobility: Evidence from the Finnish Comprehensive School Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 2204, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Anna Christina D'Addio, 2007. "Intergenerational Transmission of Disadvantage: Mobility or Immobility Across Generations?," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 52, OECD Publishing.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inter-generational mobility; cohorts; education; migration; Economic growth; Taloudellinen kasvu; Labor market and policies promoting economic growth; Työmarkkinat ja kasvua tukeva politiikka; J620 - Job; Occupational; and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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