Essays on Intergenerational Mobility

Erling Risa's webpage

How persistent socioeconomic status is across generations is a salient policy question and has again received new interest among researchers. In this paper, we contribute to our knowledge by focusing on several aspects of socioeconomic mobility using high quality register data for Norway across generations. The Nordic countries have been found to be very mobile using a single measure of income, and our question is whether this result holds up when extending the analysis to multiple dimensions.  First, we analyze whether different aspects of socioeconomic mobility such as income and education have different patterns of mobility. Next, we analyze whether mobility using income and education is more sluggish for instance at the bottom of the parental income distribution using nonlinear approaches. As the third contribution, we combine these two aspects and incorporate multiple proxies for socioeconomic status to assess whether the socioeconomic persistence increases when using a latent variable approach. We find that different aspects of socioeconomic mobility are very different and that the persistence varies across the distribution with a much stronger persistence at the tails. Moreover, when combining all measures in a multidimensional measure of socioeconomic status, the persistence is higher and the nonlinear aspect remains.