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Intergenerational Top Income Mobility in Sweden: A Combination of Equal Opportunity and Capitalistic Dynasties

Author

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  • Björklund, Anders

    () (SOFI, Stockholm University)

  • Roine, Jesper

    () (Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics)

  • Waldenström, Daniel

    () (Paris School of Economics)

Abstract

This paper presents new evidence on intergenerational income and earnings mobility in the top of the distributions. Using a large dataset of matched father-son pairs in Sweden we are able to obtain results for fractions as small as 0.1 percent of the population. Overall, mobility is lower for incomes than for earnings and it appears to decrease the higher up in the distribution one goes. In the case of incomes, however, we find that mobility decreases dramatically within the top percentile of the population. Our results suggest that Sweden, well-known for its egalitarian achievements, is a society where equality of opportunity for a large majority of wage earners coexists with capitalistic dynasties.

Suggested Citation

  • Björklund, Anders & Roine, Jesper & Waldenström, Daniel, 2008. "Intergenerational Top Income Mobility in Sweden: A Combination of Equal Opportunity and Capitalistic Dynasties," IZA Discussion Papers 3801, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3801
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Miles Corak & Andrew Heisz, 1999. "The Intergenerational Earnings and Income Mobility of Canadian Men: Evidence from Longitudinal Income Tax Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(3), pages 504-533.
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    4. Solon, Gary, 1999. "Intergenerational mobility in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 29, pages 1761-1800 Elsevier.
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    Cited by:

    1. Anders Björklund & Markus Jäntti & John Roemer, 2012. "Equality of opportunity and the distribution of long-run income in Sweden," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 39(2), pages 675-696, July.
    2. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J., 2011. "Recent Developments in Intergenerational Mobility," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    3. 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.
    4. Bergh, Andreas, 2011. "The Rise, Fall and Revival of a Capitalist Welfare State: What are the Policy Lessons from Sweden," Working Paper Series 873, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    income inequality; earnings inequality; top incomes; intergenerational income mobility; welfare state; non-linear regression; quantile regression;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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