The Decline in Intergenerational Mobility after 1980

43 Pages Posted: 12 Apr 2017 Last revised: 2 Feb 2019

See all articles by Jonathan Davis

Jonathan Davis

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy; University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy

Bhashkar Mazumder

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Date Written: 2017-03-16

Abstract

We demonstrate that intergenerational mobility declined sharply for cohorts born between 1957 and 1964 compared to those born between 1942 and 1953. The former entered the labor market largely after the large rise in inequality that occurred around 1980 while the latter entered the labor market before this inflection point. We show that the rank-rank slope rose from 0.27 to 0.4 and the IGE rose from 0.35 to 0.51. The share of children whose income exceeds that of their parents fell by about 3 percentage points. These findings suggest that relative mobility fell by substantially more than absolute mobility.

Keywords: Intergenerational mobility, income, labor market

JEL Classification: E2, J61, J62

Suggested Citation

Davis, Jonathan and Mazumder, Bhashkar, The Decline in Intergenerational Mobility after 1980 (2017-03-16). FRB of Chicago Working Paper No. WP-2017-5. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2944584

Jonathan Davis (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1155 E 60th St
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1155 E 60th St
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Bhashkar Mazumder

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago ( email )

230 South LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60604
United States

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