IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/hhs/ratioi/0325.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The American Dream Lives in Sweden: Trends in intergenerational absolute income mobility

Author

Listed:

Abstract

Despite a sizeable literature on relative income mobility across generations, there is a dearth of studies of absolute mobility across generations, i.e. whether current generations earn more or less than their parents did at the same age, as well as how to explain the level of absolute mobility. We use individual micro data to study the trend in intergenerational absolute income mobility measured as the share of sons and daughters earning more than their fathers and mothers, respectively, for eleven Swedish birth cohorts between 1970 and 1980. We find that absolute mobility in Sweden significantly exceeds that of the United States and is largely on par with Canada. The rate of absolute mobility for women exceeds that of men throughout the study period, however the trend has been stronger for men. Using an augmented decomposition model which supplements standard models by accounting for differences in the income distribution of every birth cohort’s parent generation, we find that heterogeneity in the parent income distribution strongly determines how much economic growth contributes to absolute mobility across birth cohorts. If income inequality is high in the parent generation, more growth is required if children that move downward in the relative income distribution are to earn more than their parents.

Suggested Citation

  • Liss, Erik & Korpi, Martin & Wennberg , Karl, 2019. "The American Dream Lives in Sweden: Trends in intergenerational absolute income mobility," Ratio Working Papers 325, The Ratio Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ratioi:0325
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ratio.se/app/uploads/2019/09/wp-325-erik-liss-martin-korpi-karl-wennberg.pdf
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Björklund, Anders & Roine, Jesper & Waldenström, Daniel, 2012. "Intergenerational top income mobility in Sweden: Capitalist dynasties in the land of equal opportunity?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(5), pages 474-484.
    2. Roland Benabou & Efe A. Ok, 2001. "Social Mobility and the Demand for Redistribution: The Poum Hypothesis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 447-487.
    3. Laura Chadwick & Gary Solon, 2002. "Intergenerational Income Mobility Among Daughters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 335-344, March.
    4. Miles Corak, 2013. "Income Inequality, Equality of Opportunity, and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 79-102, Summer.
    5. Adriaan Kalwij & Arjan Verschoor, 2005. "A Decomposition of Poverty Trends Across Regions: the Role of Variation in the Income and Inequality Elasticities of Poverty," WIDER Working Paper Series RP2005-36, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2010. "Product Creation and Destruction: Evidence and Price Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 691-723, June.
    7. Philippe Van Kerm, 2004. "What Lies Behind Income Mobility? Reranking and Distributional Change in Belgium, Western Germany and the USA," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 71(281), pages 223-239, May.
    8. Raj Chetty & Nathaniel Hendren & Patrick Kline & Emmanuel Saez & Nicholas Turner, 2014. "Is the United States Still a Land of Opportunity? Recent Trends in Intergenerational Mobility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 141-147, May.
    9. Bernt Bratsberg & Knut Røed & Oddbjørn Raaum & Robin Naylor & Markus Ja¨ntti & Tor Eriksson & Eva O¨sterbacka, 2007. "Nonlinearities in Intergenerational Earnings Mobility: Consequences for Cross-Country Comparisons," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(519), pages 72-92, March.
    10. Martin Nybom & Jan Stuhler, 2016. "Heterogeneous Income Profiles and Lifecycle Bias in Intergenerational Mobility Estimation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(1), pages 239-268.
    11. Javier Ruiz-Castillo, 2004. "The measurement of structural and exchange income mobility," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 2(3), pages 219-228, September.
    12. Bruce D. Meyer & James X. Sullivan, 2009. "Five Decades of Consumption and Income Poverty," Working Papers 0907, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    13. Roland Bénabou, 1996. "Inequality and Growth," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1996, Volume 11, pages 11-92, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Lee Elliot Major & Stephen Machin, 2018. "Social mobility and its enemies," CentrePiece - The magazine for economic performance 541, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    15. Rolf Aaberge & Anders Björklund & Markus Jäntti & Mårten Palme & Peder J. Pedersen & Nina Smith & Tom Wennemo, 2002. "Income Inequality and Income Mobility in the Scandinavian Countries Compared to the United States," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(4), pages 443-469, December.
    16. Markandya, Anil, 1984. "The Welfare Measurement of Changes in Economic Mobility," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 51(204), pages 457-471, November.
    17. Maxim Pinkovskiy & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2009. "Parametric Estimations of the World Distribution of Income," NBER Working Papers 15433, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Hayek, F. A., 2011. "The Constitution of Liberty," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226315379 edited by Hamowy, Ronald, January.
    19. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1992. "Growth and redistribution components of changes in poverty measures : A decomposition with applications to Brazil and India in the 1980s," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 275-295, April.
    20. Gustafsson, Siv & Jacobsson, Roger, 1985. "Trends in Female Labor Force Participation in Sweden," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages 256-274, January.
    21. Dearden, Lorraine & Machin, Stephen & Reed, Howard, 1997. "Intergenerational Mobility in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(440), pages 47-66, January.
    22. Anders Bohlmark & Matthew J. Lindquist, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variations in the Association between Current and Lifetime Income: Replication and Extension for Sweden," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 879-900, October.
    23. Peters, H Elizabeth, 1992. "Patterns of Intergenerational Mobility in Income and Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(3), pages 456-466, August.
    24. Roland Benabou, 1996. "Inequality and Growth," LIS Working papers 142, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    25. Elias Karagiannis & Milorad Kovacevic', 2000. "A Method to Calculate the Jackknife Variance Estimator For the Gini Coefficient," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 62(1), pages 119-122, February.
    26. Ravallion, Martin & Huppi, Monika, 1991. "Measuring Changes in Poverty: A Methodological Case Study of Indonesia during an Adjustment Period," The World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(1), pages 57-82, January.
    27. Karagiannis, Elias & Kovacevic', Milorad, 2000. "A Method to Calculate the Jackknife Variance Estimator for the Gini Coefficient," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 62(1), pages 119-122, February.
    28. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-1189, December.
    29. Barro, Robert J, 2000. "Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
    30. Jose V. Rodriguez Mora & John Hassler, 2000. "Intelligence, Social Mobility, and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 888-908, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Yonatan Berman, 2022. "The Long-Run Evolution of Absolute Intergenerational Mobility," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 61-83, July.
    2. Brea-Martinez, Gabriel, 2021. "The beneficial impact of mother’s work on children’s absolute income mobility, Southern Sweden (1947-2015)," SocArXiv c27s8, Center for Open Science.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. P. Jenkins, Stephen & Jäntti, Markus, 2013. "Income mobility," ISER Working Paper Series 2013-23, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    2. Anna Christina D'Addio, 2007. "Intergenerational Transmission of Disadvantage: Mobility or Immobility Across Generations?," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 52, OECD Publishing.
    3. Neidhöfer, Guido & Serrano, Joaquín & Gasparini, Leonardo, 2018. "Educational inequality and intergenerational mobility in Latin America: A new database," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 329-349.
    4. Chen, Wen-Hao & Ostrovsky, Yuri & Piraino, Patrizio, 2017. "Lifecycle variation, errors-in-variables bias and nonlinearities in intergenerational income transmission: new evidence from Canada," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 1-12.
    5. Tharcisio Leone, 2019. "The Geography of Intergenerational Mobility: Evidence of Educational Persistence and the “Great Gatsby Curve" in Brazil," Documentos de Trabajo LACEA 017526, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA.
    6. Bertha Rohenkohl, 2019. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the UK:New evidence using the BHPS and Understanding Society," Working Papers 2019017, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
    7. Stefanie Heidrich, 2017. "Intergenerational mobility in Sweden: a regional perspective," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 30(4), pages 1241-1280, October.
    8. Leone, Tharcisio, 2019. "The geography of intergenerational mobility: Evidence of educational persistence and the "Great Gatsby Curve" in Brazil," GIGA Working Papers 318, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies.
    9. Lijie Song, 2021. "Does Public Investment Promote Intergenerational Mobility? Who Really Benefits?," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 59-80, November.
    10. Brea-Martinez, Gabriel, 2021. "The beneficial impact of mother’s work on children’s absolute income mobility, Southern Sweden (1947-2015)," SocArXiv c27s8, Center for Open Science.
    11. Raaum Oddbjørn & Bratsberg Bernt & Røed Knut & Österbacka Eva & Eriksson Tor & Jäntti Markus & Naylor Robin A, 2008. "Marital Sorting, Household Labor Supply, and Intergenerational Earnings Mobility across Countries," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-49, January.
    12. Brandén, Gunnar, 2019. "Does inequality reduce mobility? The Great Gatsby Curve and its mechanisms," Working Paper Series 2019:20, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    13. Yang, Xiaoliang & Zhou, Peng, 2022. "Wealth inequality and social mobility: A simulation-based modelling approach," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 196(C), pages 307-329.
    14. Orhan Torul & Oguz Oztunali, 2017. "Intergenerational Educational Mobility in Europe," Working Papers 2017/03, Bogazici University, Department of Economics.
    15. Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan & Claudia Vittori, 2014. "Moving Towards Estimating Lifetime Intergenerational Economic Mobility in the UK," DoQSS Working Papers 14-12, Quantitative Social Science - UCL Social Research Institute, University College London.
    16. John Hassler & José Rodríguez Mora & Joseph Zeira, 2007. "Inequality and mobility," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 235-259, September.
    17. Robert Lucas & Sari Kerr, 2013. "Intergenerational income immobility in Finland: contrasting roles for parental earnings and family income," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 26(3), pages 1057-1094, July.
    18. Chelsea Murray & Robert Graham Clark & Silvia Mendolia & Peter Siminski, 2018. "Direct Measures of Intergenerational Income Mobility for Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 94(307), pages 445-468, December.
    19. 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.
    20. Rasmus Landersø & James J. Heckman, 2017. "The Scandinavian Fantasy: Sources of Intergenerational Mobility in Denmark and the US," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 119(1), pages 178-230, January.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Absolute mobility; income decomposition; intergenerational income mobility; social mobility;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hhs:ratioi:0325. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ratiose.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Martin Korpi (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/ratiose.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.