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The Scandinavian Fantasy: The Sources of Intergenerational Mobility in Denmark and the U.S

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  • Rasmus Landersø
  • James J. Heckman

Abstract

This paper examines the sources of differences in social mobility between the U.S. and Denmark. Measured by income mobility, Denmark is a more mobile society, but not when measured by educational mobility. There are pronounced nonlinearities in income and educational mobility in both countries. Greater Danish income mobility is largely a consequence of redistributional tax, transfer, and wage compression policies. While Danish social policies for children produce more favorable cognitive test scores for disadvantaged children, these do not translate into more favorable educational outcomes, partly because of disincentives to acquire education arising from the redistributional policies that increase income mobility.

Suggested Citation

  • Rasmus Landersø & James J. Heckman, 2016. "The Scandinavian Fantasy: The Sources of Intergenerational Mobility in Denmark and the U.S," NBER Working Papers 22465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22465
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    1. The Scandinavian Fantasy: The Sources of Intergenerational Mobility in Denmark and the U.S.
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2016-09-06 01:19:29

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    Cited by:

    1. Bredtmann, Julia & Smith, Nina, 2015. "Inequalities in Educational Outcomes: How Important is the Family?," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112861, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Paul Bingley & Lorenzo Cappellari & Konstantinos Tatsiramos, 2017. "Family, Community and Life-Cycle Earnings: Evidence from Siblings and Youth Peers," CESifo Working Paper Series 6743, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Hamish Low & Aruni Mitra & Giovanni Gallipoli, 2017. "Consumption and Income Persistence across Generations," 2017 Meeting Papers 1215, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Jing You & Miguel Niño-Zarazúa, 2017. "Smoothing or strengthening the ‘Great Gatsby Curve’? The intergenerational impact of China’s New Rural Pension Scheme," WIDER Working Paper Series 199, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Brantly Callaway & Weige Huang, 2018. "Intergenerational Income Mobility: Counterfactual Distributions with a Continuous Treatment," DETU Working Papers 1801, Department of Economics, Temple University.

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    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • P51 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems - - - Comparative Analysis of Economic Systems

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