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A new look at intergenerational mobility in Germany compared to the US

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  • Schnitzlein, Daniel D.

Abstract

Motivated by contradictory evidence on intergenerational mobility in Germany, I present a cross-country comparison of Germany and the US, reassessing the question of whether intergenerational mobility is higher in Germany than the US. I can reproduce the standard result from the literature, which states that the German intergenerational elasticity estimates are lower than those for the US. However, based on highly comparable data, even a reasonable degree of variation in the sampling rules leads to similar estimates in both countries. I find no evidence for nonlinearities along the fathers’ earnings distribution. In contrast, the analysis shows that mobility is higher for the sons at the lowest quartile of the sons’ earnings distribution in both countries. In Germany this result is mainly driven by a high downward mobility of sons with fathers in the upper middle part of the earnings distribution. The corresponding pattern is clearly less pronounced in the US.

Suggested Citation

  • Schnitzlein, Daniel D., 2014. "A new look at intergenerational mobility in Germany compared to the US," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-538, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  • Handle: RePEc:han:dpaper:dp-538
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan & Claudia Vittori, 2015. "Nonlinear Estimation of Lifetime Intergenerational Economic Mobility and the Role of Education," DoQSS Working Papers 15-03, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    2. Jan Kluge & Michael Weber, 2015. "Decomposing the German East-West wage gap," ifo Working Paper Series 205, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    3. Michele Raitano & Claudia Vittori & Francesco Vona, 2016. "The effect of parental background along the sons’ earnings distribution: does one pattern fit for all?," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(15), pages 1073-1078, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    intergenerational mobility; SOEP; CNEF; Germany; US;

    JEL classification:

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

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