Switzer-Land of Opportunity: Intergenerational Income Mobility in the Land of Vocational Education

61 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2020

See all articles by Patrick Chuard

Patrick Chuard

University of St. Gallen - Swiss Institute for Empirical Economic Research (SEW)

Veronica Grassi

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: July 28, 2020

Abstract

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

Chuard, Patrick and Grassi, Veronica, Switzer-Land of Opportunity: Intergenerational Income Mobility in the Land of Vocational Education (July 28, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3662560 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3662560

Patrick Chuard (Contact Author)

University of St. Gallen - Swiss Institute for Empirical Economic Research (SEW) ( email )

Varnbuelstrasse 14
St. Gallen, 9000
Switzerland

Veronica Grassi

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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