London School of Economics Centre for the Economics of Education LSE
Centre for the Economics of Education  (CEE)

Abstract for:

How Much Can We Learn from International Comparisons of Intergenerational Mobility?

Jo  Blanden,  November 2009
Paper No' CEEDP0111: | Full paper (pdf)
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Keywords: Intergenerational mobility; public policy, inequality

JEL Classification: J62; J68; D63

Is hard copy/paper copy available? YES - Paper Copy Still In Print.
This Paper is published under the following series: CEE Discussion Papers
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Abstract:

This paper summarises research on the relative level of intergenerational mobility – whether classified by income, social class, social status or education – considering observations from 65 countries. With the exception of social class, the different approaches reveal similar patterns. South America, other developing nations, southern European countries and France tending to have rather limited mobility while the Nordic countries exhibit strong mobility. Evidence for the US and Germany differs across the measures, with Germany immobile on education and class and fairly mobile on income and the reverse true for the US. These differences are likely explained by greater within-group income inequality and persistence in the US. The second part of the paper finds that mobility is negatively correlated with inequality and the returns to education and positively correlated with a nation’s education spending.