Assessing Changes in Intergenerational Earnings Mobility
35 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2003
Date Written: June 2003
Previous research on changes in intergenerational mobility suggests that mobility is decreasing over time. One explanation for this pattern is increased cross-sectional income inequality. In contrast to most other OECD countries, income inequality in Norway has been remarkably stable through large parts of the 1980s and the 1990s, not least due to a compression of the earnings distribution during the same period. Using longitudinal data for Norwegian children born in 1950, 1955, 1960, and 1965, we find a relatively high degree of earnings mobility. Furthermore, there is no tendency to increasing inequality along this dimension. This finding supports the hypothesis that intergenerational mobility is positively correlated with a compressed income distribution. Quartile father-child earnings transition matrices, together with non-parametric regressions, indicate quite high mobility in the middle of the distribution and somewhat more persistence at the top and bottom. This approach also reveals increased mobility over time for sons, but a less clear picture for daughters.
Keywords: Intergenerational Mobility, Intertemporal Change
JEL Classification: J62, C23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation