Cross‐Country Rankings in Intergenerational Mobility: A Comparison of Approaches from Economics and Sociology

36 Pages Posted: 8 Jan 2013

See all articles by Jo Blanden

Jo Blanden

University of Surrey; London School of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: February 2013

Abstract

This paper summarizes research on the relative level of intergenerational mobility – whether classified by income, education or social class. The literatures on education and income mobility reveal a similar ranking with South America, other developing nations, southern European countries and France tending to have rather limited mobility although the Nordic countries exhibit strong mobility. Estimates of mobility based on social class point to rather different patterns, and we demonstrate that these differences are most likely generated by intergenerational earnings persistence within social classes. The second part of the paper looks for explanations for the differences in earnings and education persistence and finds that mobility is negatively correlated with inequality and the return to education but positively correlated with a nation's education spending.

Keywords: Education, Inequality, Intergenerational mobility, Public policy

Suggested Citation

Blanden, Jo, Cross‐Country Rankings in Intergenerational Mobility: A Comparison of Approaches from Economics and Sociology (February 2013). Journal of Economic Surveys, Vol. 27, Issue 1, pp. 38-73, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2197632 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6419.2011.00690.x

Jo Blanden (Contact Author)

University of Surrey ( email )

Guildford
Guildford, Surrey GU2 5XH
United Kingdom

London School of Economics ( email )

Houghton Street
London WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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