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The Scandinavian Fantasy: Sources of Intergenerational Mobility in Denmark and the US

Rasmus Landersø () and James Heckman

Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 2017, vol. 119, issue 1, 178-230

Abstract: This paper examines the sources of differences in social mobility between the US and Denmark. Measured by income mobility, Denmark is a more mobile society, but not when measured by educational mobility. There are pronounced non‐linearities in income and educational mobility in both countries. Greater Danish income mobility is largely a consequence of redistributional tax, transfer, and wage compression policies. While Danish social policies for children produce more favorable cognitive test scores for disadvantaged children, they do not translate into more favorable educational outcomes, partly because of disincentives to acquire education arising from the redistributional policies that increase income mobility.

Date: 2017
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https://doi.org/10.1111/sjoe.12219

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Scandinavian Journal of Economics is currently edited by Richard Friberg, Matti Liski and Kjetil Storesletten

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