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Exploring educational mobility in Europe


  • Antonio Di Paolo

    () (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Campus de Bellaterra, Edifici B 08193 Bellaterra (Cerdanyola), Spain & IEB, Barcelona, Spain)

  • José Luís Raymond

    () (Departament d'Economia Aplicada, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Campus de Bellaterra, Edifici B 08193 Bellaterra (Cerdanyola), Spain & IEB, Barcelona, Spain)

  • Jorge Calero

    () (Departament d'Economia Política i Hisenda Pública, Universitat de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain & GIPE, Barcelona, Spain & IEB, Barcelona, Spain)


This paper is concerned with the investigation of the intergenerational mobility of education in several European countries and its changes across birth cohorts (1940-1980) using a new mobility index that considers the total degree of mobility as the weighted sum of mobility with respect to both parents. Moreover, this mobility index enables the analysis of the role of family characteristics as mediating factors in the statistical association between individual and parental education. We find that Nordic countries display lower levels of educational persistence but that the degree of mobility increases over time only in those countries with low initial levels. Moreover, the results suggest that the degree of mobility with respect to fathers and mothers converges to the same level and that family characteristics account for an important part of the statistical association between parental education and children’s schooling; a particular finding is that the most important elements of family characteristics are the family’s socio-economic status and educational assortative mating of the parents.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio Di Paolo & José Luís Raymond & Jorge Calero, 2010. "Exploring educational mobility in Europe," Working Papers XREAP2010-11, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Oct 2010.
  • Handle: RePEc:xrp:wpaper:xreap2010-11

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Hassler & José Rodríguez Mora & Joseph Zeira, 2007. "Inequality and mobility," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 12(3), pages 235-259, September.
    2. Nicoletti Cheti & Ermisch John F, 2008. "Intergenerational Earnings Mobility: Changes across Cohorts in Britain," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-38, January.
    3. Heineck Guido & Riphahn Regina T., 2009. "Intergenerational Transmission of Educational Attainment in Germany – The Last Five Decades," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 229(1), pages 36-60, February.
    4. 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.
    5. Hertz Tom & Jayasundera Tamara & Piraino Patrizio & Selcuk Sibel & Smith Nicole & Verashchagina Alina, 2008. "The Inheritance of Educational Inequality: International Comparisons and Fifty-Year Trends," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-48, January.
    6. Arnaud Chevalier & Kevin Denny & Dorren McMahon, 2003. "A multi-country study of inter-generational educational mobility," Working Papers 200314, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    7. 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 43-60, March.
    8. Ganzeboom, H.B.G. & de Graaf, P.M. & Treiman, D.J. & de Leeuw, J., 1992. "A standard international socio-economic index of occupational status," WORC Paper 85970031-d601-46e3-befb-1, Tilburg University, Work and Organization Research Centre.
    9. Arnaud Chevalier, 2004. "Parental Education and Childs Education: A Natural Experiment," CEE Discussion Papers 0040, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    10. Erik Plug, 2004. "Estimating the Effect of Mother's Schooling on Children's Schooling Using a Sample of Adoptees," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 358-368, March.
    11. Philip Oreopoulos & Marianne E. Page, 2006. "The Intergenerational Effects of Compulsory Schooling," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 729-760, October.
    12. Chul-In Lee & Gary Solon, 2009. "Trends in Intergenerational Income Mobility," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(4), pages 766-772, November.
    13. Gary Solon, 2002. "Cross-Country Differences in Intergenerational Earnings Mobility," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(3), pages 59-66, Summer.
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    Cited by:

    1. Francesco Vona, 2011. "Does the Expansion of Higher Education Reduce Educational Inequality? Evidence from 12 European Countries," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2011-12, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    2. Anna Castañer & Mª Mercè Claramunt & Alba Tadeo & Javier Varea, 2016. "Modelización de la dependencia del número de siniestros. Aplicación a Solvencia II," Working Papers XREAP2016-01, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Sep 2016.

    More about this item


    Educational Economics; Intergenerational Mobility; Europe; Birth Cohorts; Family;

    JEL classification:

    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I29 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Other
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation

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