Intergenerational Earnings Mobility in Singapore and the United States
This study compared intergenerational earnings mobility in Singapore and the United States by replicating the limitations in the Singapore National Youth Survey on the U.S. Panel Study of Income Dynamics. The mean estimated earnings elasticities are almost identical: 0.26 in Singapore and 0.27 in the United States. Transformed to 0.45 and 0.47 respectively to reflect permanent status, mobility in the two countries is moderately low compared internationally. The finding of similar mobility is not surprising given that the economic realities, welfare systems, education regimes, and labor structures in the two countries are similar. Policy makers face the daunting challenge of overcoming immobility and inequality while maintaining global competitiveness.
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