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Redistribution, Occupational Choice and Intergenerational Mobility: Does Wage Equality Nail the Cobbler to His Last?

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Abstract

The classical Roy-model of selection on the labor market is extended in order to analyze intergenerational mobility. This is done by linking ability uncertainty to family background. I derive implications for the allocation of talent and for background dependent earnings patterns within occupations and show that a very compressed wage structure can cause negative sorting of people with family background in the occupation with low returns to ability. I also study the effects of income redistribution on mobility and talent allocation. It is found that a redistributive welfare system either reduces vertical mobility or enhances it at the cost of a shrinking proportion of people choosing the occupation with high returns.

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  • Sjögren, Anna, 2000. "Redistribution, Occupational Choice and Intergenerational Mobility: Does Wage Equality Nail the Cobbler to His Last?," Working Paper Series 538, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0538
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    1. Willis, Robert J., 1987. "Wage determinants: A survey and reinterpretation of human capital earnings functions," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 525-602 Elsevier.
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    4. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 257-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Checchi, Daniele & Ichino, Andrea & Rustichini, Aldo, 1999. "More equal but less mobile?: Education financing and intergenerational mobility in Italy and in the US," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(3), pages 351-393, December.
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    12. Orazem, Peter F & Mattila, J Peter, 1991. "Human Capital, Uncertain Wage Distributions, and Occupational and Educational Choices," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(1), pages 103-122, February.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Intergenerational mobility; Occupational choice; Allocation of talent; redistribution;

    JEL classification:

    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

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