Cities as Drivers of Social Mobility

28 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2019

See all articles by Alessandra Michelangeli

Alessandra Michelangeli

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for European Studies (CefES); Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS)

Umut Türk

Abdullah Gül University-Departmant of Economics

Date Written: January 4, 2019

Abstract

Intergenerational mobility refers to children moving up from the social class position held by their parents. Previous studies indicate family background as one of the major determinants of socioeconomic mobility and, in general, of individual life chances. This paper extends the standard approach to measure intergenerational social mobility by examining the role of cities where offspring grew up. The idea is that cities can provide resources and opportunities able to increase the chance of employment and status attainment. We assess intergenerational mobility in Italy, the most immobile country in Europe together with Greece and Portugal. We use a data survey provided by the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), which provides information on the individual-level track of Italian students’ life path from high school to occupation. We merge these data with city-level data on economic conditions, human capital, and social capital. We distinguish between students who attended university in the same province where they presumably grew up and those who migrated to another province for higher education. This allows us to test whether migration affects the shift in occupation type and, if so, which characteristics of cities enhance upward mobility.

Keywords: Intergenerational social mobility; spatial mobility; cities

JEL Classification: J62; R11; R12

Suggested Citation

Michelangeli, Alessandra and Türk, Umut, Cities as Drivers of Social Mobility (January 4, 2019). University of Milan Bicocca Department of Economics, Management and Statistics Working Paper No. 397, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3310480 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3310480

Alessandra Michelangeli (Contact Author)

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Department of Economics, Management and Statistics (DEMS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milan, 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for European Studies (CefES)

U6 Building
Viale Piero e Alberto Pirelli, 22
Milano, 20126
Italy

Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca - Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Economics, Psychology & Social Sciences (CISEPS) ( email )

Piazza dell'Ateneo Nuovo, 1
Milano, 20126
Italy

Umut Türk

Abdullah Gül University-Departmant of Economics ( email )

Sumer Campus
Kayseri
Turkey

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