IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Political Economy of Intergenerational Income Mobility

  • Andrea Ichino
  • Loukas Karabarbounis
  • Enrico Moretti

The intergenerational elasticity of income is generally considered one of the best summary measures of the degree to which a society gives equal opportunity of success to all its members, irrespective of their family background. We present a parsimonious political economy model and show how the interaction between private and collective decisions determines the equilibrium level of mobility. Contrary to what it is generally assumed, a low correlation between father income and son income is not always desirable, as it may imply more inefficiency due to the distortionary effects of mobility-enhancing public policies. Moreover, taking into account the heterogeneity in preferences for intergenerational mobility leads to the conclusion that even if a fully mobile society is desirable ex ante, it may not be politically sustainable ex post. Our model clarifies the structural parameters behind the widely studied intergenerational elasticity of income in terms of political economy forces. Finally, we show some empirical evidence on the relationship between intergenerational elasticity of income across countries and its underlying determinants that is consistent with the predictions of the model.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15946.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15946.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Apr 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Andrea Ichino & Loukas Karabarbounis & Enrico Moretti, 2011. "The Political Economy Of Intergenerational Income Mobility," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(1), pages 47-69, 01.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15946
Note: CH LS
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. James B. Davies & Jie Zhang & Jinli Zeng, 2005. "Intergenerational Mobility under Private vs. Public Education," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 107(3), pages 399-417, 09.
  2. Roland Benabou, 1996. "Inequality and Growth," NBER Working Papers 5658, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bjorklund, Anders & Jantti, Markus, 1997. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in Sweden Compared to the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 1009-18, December.
  4. Roland Benabou & Efe A. Ok, 1998. "Social Mobility and the Demand for Redistribution: The POUM Hypothesis," NBER Working Papers 6795, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Thomas Piketty, 1994. "Social Mobility and Redistributive Politics," Working papers 94-15, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Andrew Atkeson & Robert E Lucas, 2010. "On Efficient Distribution with Private Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2179, David K. Levine.
  7. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1986. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S1-39, July.
  8. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan, 2007. "Accounting for Intergenerational Income Persistence: Noncognitive Skills, Ability and Education," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(519), pages C43-C60, 03.
  9. Loukas Karabarbounis, 2011. "One Dollar, One Vote," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(553), pages 621-651, 06.
  10. Goldberger, Arthur S, 1989. "Economic and Mechanical Models of Intergenerational Transmission," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(3), pages 504-13, June.
  11. Leigh Andrew, 2007. "Intergenerational Mobility in Australia," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-28, December.
  12. Susan E. Mayer & Leonard Michael Lopoo, 2001. "Has the Intergenerational Transmission of Economic Status Changed?," JCPR Working Papers 227, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  13. Werning, Ivan & Farhi, Emmanuel, 2007. "Inequality and Social Discounting," Scholarly Articles 3451391, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  14. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano, 2010. "The power of the family," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 93-125, June.
  15. Romina Boarini & Hubert Strauss, 2007. "The Private Internal Rates of Return to Tertiary Education: New Estimates for 21 OECD Countries," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 591, OECD Publishing.
  16. Gary Solon, 2002. "Cross-Country Differences in Intergenerational Earnings Mobility," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 59-66, Summer.
  17. Hassler, John & Mora, José V Rodríguez & Storesletten, Kjetil & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2001. "The Survival of the Welfare State," CEPR Discussion Papers 2905, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Saint-Paul, Gilles & Verdier, Thierry, 1992. "Education, Democracy and Growth," CEPR Discussion Papers 613, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Bhashkar Mazumder, 2005. "Fortunate Sons: New Estimates of Intergenerational Mobility in the United States Using Social Security Earnings Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 235-255, May.
  20. Alberto Alesina & Dani Rodrik, 1991. "Distributive Politics and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 3668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Roland Benabou, 2000. "Unequal Societies: Income Distribution and the Social Contract," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(1), pages 96-129, March.
  22. Hassler, John & Rodríguez Mora, José Vicente & Zeira, Joseph, 2000. "Inequality and Mobility," CEPR Discussion Papers 2497, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. Milanovic, Branko, 2000. "The median-voter hypothesis, income inequality, and income redistribution: an empirical test with the required data," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 367-410, September.
  24. Campante, Filipe, 2007. "Redistribution in a Model of Voting and Campaign Contributions," Working Paper Series rwp07-045, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  25. Anna Christina D'Addio, 2007. "Intergenerational Transmission of Disadvantage: Mobility or Immobility Across Generations?," OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers 52, OECD Publishing.
  26. Michele Bernasconi & Paola Profeta, 2007. "Redistribution or Education? The Political Economy of the Social Race," CESifo Working Paper Series 1934, CESifo Group Munich.
  27. Corak, Miles, 2006. "Do Poor Children Become Poor Adults? Lessons from a Cross Country Comparison of Generational Earnings Mobility," IZA Discussion Papers 1993, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  28. Krusell, Per & Quadrini, Vincenzo & Rios-Rull, Jose-Victor, 1997. "Politico-economic equilibrium and economic growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 243-272, January.
  29. Heisz, Andrew & Corak, Miles, 1998. "The Intergenerational Earnings and Income Mobility of Canadian Men: Evidence from Longitudinal Income Tax Data," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 1998113e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  30. Loury, Glenn C, 1981. "Intergenerational Transfers and the Distribution of Earnings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 843-67, June.
  31. Chul-In Lee & Gary Solon, 2006. "Trends in Intergenerational Income Mobility," NBER Working Papers 12007, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521821759 is not listed on IDEAS
  33. 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 1153-89, December.
  34. Arnaud LEFRANC & Fumiaki OJIMA & Takashi YOSHIDA, 2008. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Income and Education: A Comparison of Japan and France," RSCAS Working Papers 2008/25, European University Institute.
  35. Pekkarinen, Tuomas & Uusitalo, Roope & Kerr, Sari, 2009. "School tracking and intergenerational income mobility: Evidence from the Finnish comprehensive school reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 965-973, August.
  36. Daniel Aaronson & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2005. "Intergenerational economic mobility in the U.S., 1940 to 2000," Working Paper Series WP-05-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  37. 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.
  38. Alesina, Alberto & Giuliano, Paola, 2009. "Preferences for Redistribution," IZA Discussion Papers 4056, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  39. Zimmerman, David J, 1992. "Regression toward Mediocrity in Economic Stature," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 409-29, June.
  40. Fernandez, Raquel & Rogerson, Richard, 1998. "Public Education and Income Distribution: A Dynamic Quantitative Evaluation of Education-Finance Reform," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 813-33, September.
  41. Andrew Christie & Sarah Moritz, 2007. "Australia," Chapters, in: Innovation Without Patents, chapter 6 Edward Elgar.
  42. Christopher Phelan, 2006. "Opportunity and Social Mobility," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(2), pages 487-504.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15946. 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: ()

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.