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The economic impact of upward and downward occupational mobility: A comparison of eight EU member states

Michele Raitano () and Francesco Vona ()

No 13, Working Papers from Doctoral School of Economics, Sapienza University of Rome

Abstract: Recent literature agrees that the degree of intergenerational mobility substantially differs across European countries, ranked between the “mobile” Nordic countries and the “immobile” Anglo-Saxon and Southern ones. In this paper we will compare the intergenerational transmission of advantages in 8 European countries using EU-SILC dataset. Considering parental occupations as background variable, our main aims are to assess whether residual returns to background on offspring’s labour incomes persist after controlling for intermediated background-related outcomes (education and occupation) and to disentangle the role played by upward and downward occupational mobility on earnings. Our empirical analyses show that cross-country differences occur in the labour markets rather than in the educational stream. Consistently with previous findings, residual background effects on earnings are not significant in Nordic and Continental countries whereas they appear large in Anglo-Saxon and Southern ones. When the impact of backward and upward mobility is assessed, in all countries but Nordic ones penalties for upgrading emerge mostly in top occupations and are higher in less-mobile countries. These patterns are smoothened but preserved in bottom occupations and robust to different labour income measures.

Keywords: Residual Returns to Background; Earning Impact of Occupational Mobility; International comparison; Intergenerational Inequality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D31 I21 J24 J31 J62 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eec, nep-eur and nep-lab
Date: 2011, Revised 2011
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Related works:
Journal Article: Direct and Indirect Influences of Parental Background on Children's Earnings: a Comparison across Countries and Genders (2015) Downloads
Working Paper: The Economic Impact of Upward and Downward Occupational Mobility: A Comparison of Eight EU Member States (2010) Downloads
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