Intergenerational social mobility in European OECD countries

Intergenerational social mobility in European OECD countries
By: Orsetta Causa, Sophie Dantan and Åsa Johansson
Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Economics Department

This paper breaks new ground by providing comparable estimates of intergenerational wage and education persistence across 14 European OECD countries based on a new micro data from Eurostat. A further novelty is that it examines the potential role of public policies and labour and product market institutions in explaining observed differences in intergenerational wage mobility across countries. The empirical estimates show that intergenerational wage persistence is relatively high in southern European countries, as well as in the United Kingdom. Likewise, intergenerational persistence in education is relatively high both in southern European countries and in Luxembourg and Ireland. By contrast, both persistence in wages and education tends to be lower in Nordic countries. In addition, empirical results show that education is one important driver of intergenerational wage persistence across European countries. There is a positive crosscountry correlation between intergenerational wage mobility and redistributive policies, as well as a positive correlation between wage-setting institutions that compress the wage distribution and mobility.

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