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

Understanding income mobility: the role of education for intergenerational income persistence in the US, UK and Sweden

  • Paul Gregg

    ()

    (Department of Social and Policy Science, University of Bath)

  • Jan. O. Jonsson

    ()

    (Nuffield College, Oxford University and Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)

  • Lindsey Macmillan

    ()

    (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London)

  • Carina Mood

    ()

    (Institute for Future Studies, Stockholm and Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)

A growing number of studies in several countries over the past twenty years have documented the persistence in incomes across generations, and much of the current literature is seeking to understand the processes driving intergenerational mobility and how these differ across time periods and across countries. Education is commonly seen, just as in sociological studies of social mobility or status attainment, as the key driving force of intergenerational associations. In this paper we study the role of education for intergenerational income associations in three countries over time, and across the life-span of sons. We pay particular attention to issues of life-cycle bias and measurement error in modelling income mobility in a comparative setting. To explore the role of education, we utilise a three-stage framework that decomposes the intergenerational elasticity into three parts: the relationship between income and education, the returns to education, and the direct relationship between parental income and their child’s income in the next generation after controlling for education. We find that the US and the UK have high levels of income persistence (low mobility) across generations while Sweden is more moderate. Levels of educational inequality are surprisingly similar in all three countries with the majority of the difference between the US/UK and Sweden working through unequal returns to education and, more strikingly, inequality of opportunities for people with similar educational qualifications.

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://repec.ioe.ac.uk/REPEc/pdf/qsswp1312.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London in its series DoQSS Working Papers with number 13-12.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 08 Oct 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:1312
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Quantitative Social Science. UCL IOE, 20 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL
Phone: (44) (0)20 7612 6654. Eliminate (44) and add (0) if calling from inside the UK. Add (44) and eliminate (0) if calling from abroad.
Fax: (44) (0)20 7612 6686
Web page: http://www.ioe.ac.uk/research/departments/qss/35445.html

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. 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.
  2. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan, 2010. "Intergenerational Persistence in Income and Social Class: The Impact of Within-Group Inequality," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 10/230, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  3. Gary Solon, 2002. "Cross-Country Differences in Intergenerational Earnings Mobility," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 59-66, Summer.
  4. Singh, S K & Maddala, G S, 1976. "A Function for Size Distribution of Incomes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 44(5), pages 963-70, September.
  5. 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.
  6. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 257-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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:qss:dqsswp:1312. 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: (Bilal Nasim)

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.