Trends in Absolute Income Mobility in North America and Europe
Robert Manduca (U of M, Sociology)
Monday, 10/26/2020, 12:00pm
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We compute rates of absolute upward income mobility for the 1960-1987 birth cohorts in eight countries in North America and Europe. Rates and trends in absolute mobility varied dramatically across countries during this period: the US and Canada saw upward mobility rates near 50% for recent cohorts, while countries like Norway and Finland saw sustained rates above 70%. Decomposition analysis suggests that differences in the marginal income distributions, especially the amount of cross-cohort income inequality, were the primary driver of differing mobility rates across countries. We also demonstrate that absolute mobility rates can be accurately estimated without linked parent-child data.
Robert Manduca is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at Michigan. His research focuses on the consequences of economic inequality for society, and on the determinants of urban and regional economic development. He received his PhD in Sociology and Social Policy from Harvard University and his Master's in City Planning from MIT.