Switzer-Land of Opportunity: Intergenerational Income Mobility in the Land of Vocational Education
61 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2020
Date Written: July 28, 2020
This paper documents intergenerational income mobility in Switzerland. We use a unique administrative data set which links the universe of labor incomes since 1982 over generations and is matched to census and survey data. We find that relative income mobility in terms of rank-rank slope (0.15) is substantially higher than in the US and even higher than in Sweden. At the same time, we find that (academic) educational mobility is low. This shows that high income mobility can be achieved even without high educational mobility. However, to reach the top from the bottom («American Dream»), academic education is still key: Children from the bottom quintile who went to gymnasium or got a master's degree are more likely to reach the top quintile compared to their peers in the vocational education track. Looking at regional variation in mobility, we find lower absolute, but higher relative mobility in French- and Italian- compared to German-speaking areas.
Keywords: Social mobility, intergenerational income mobility, inequality, vocational education
JEL Classification: H31, J13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation