OECD Economics Department Working Papers

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Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

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Intergenerational Social Mobility in European OECD Countries You or your institution have access to this content

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Orsetta Causa1, Sophie Dantan2, Åsa Johansson
Author Affiliations
  • 1: OECD, France

  • 2: University of Cergy-Pontoise, France

07 July 2009
Bibliographic information

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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.
education, household survey data, intergenerational wage mobility, public policy, intergenerational education mobility
JEL Classification:
  • C20: Mathematical and Quantitative Methods / Single Equation Models ; Single Variables / General
  • C21: Mathematical and Quantitative Methods / Single Equation Models ; Single Variables / Cross-Sectional Models ; Spatial Models ; Treatment Effect Models ; Quantile Regressions
  • H23: Public Economics / Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue / Externalities ; Redistributive Effects ; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
  • H31: Public Economics / Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents / Household
  • J60: Labor and Demographic Economics / Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers / General
  • J62: Labor and Demographic Economics / Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers / Job, Occupational, and Intergenerational Mobility
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