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Assessing Changes in Intergenerational Earnings Mobility

Espen Bratberg (), Øivind Nilsen () and Kjell Vaage ()

No 26/02, Working Papers in Economics from University of Bergen, Department of Economics

Abstract: Previous research on changes in intergenerational mobility suggests that the mobility is decreasing over time. One explanation for this pattern is increased cross-sectional income inequality. In contrast to most other OECD countries, the income inequality in Norway has been remarkably stable through large parts of the 1980s and the 1990s, not the least due to a compression of the earnings distribution during the same period. Using longitudinal data for Norwegian children born 1950, - 55, -60, and -65, 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 nonparametric 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: Job; Occupational; and Intergenerational Mobility; Models with Panel Data; Longitudinal Data; Spatial Time Series. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C23 J62 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 22 pages
Date: 2002-12-28
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