Socio-economic Inequality and intergenerational mobility

BSRS918 Socio-economic Inequality and intergenerational mobility

Autumn 2021

  • Topics

    Over the last decades, most countries have experienced increased social inequalities along many dimensions, including education, employment, income, physical and mental health. These changes are all critical for the well-being of individuals and their families. Coinciding with the increase in social inequality, many societies have experienced that the behavioral problems, educational and labor market outcomes have been widening more for men than for women. Importantly, a growing literature across many fields, has documented that the socioeconomic gradient shows up early in life, and the gap continues to grow into adulthood, and the gap persists across generations. The course will focus on the literature aiming at understanding the role of early childhood development and early childhood investments, and how this plays out over the life cycle. There will be a strong focus on human capital investment, and the role of human capital formation in understanding the observer inequality

  • Learning outcome

    Upon completion of the course, the candidate will:


    • understand the role of human capital formation for childhood inequality and over inequality of the lifecycle.
    • get a good understanding of mechanisms for intergenerational inequality
    • understand the importance of identifying causal mechanism


    • understand how to measure the returns to human capital investments
    • be able to design an empirical analysis to measure returns to early childhood Investment
    • be able to analyze intergenerational mobility and measurement challenges
    • be able to discuss the challenges in identifying causal effects

    General competence

    • be able to discuss the literature on intergenerational mobility
    • have acquired a good overview of the developing literature on early investments and long term outcomes

  • Teaching

    Plenary lectures. Presentations in class on topics provided by the lecturer. 

  • Restricted access

    Students apply and are accepted via the BSRS 2021: (copy and paste the url). Applicants will be prioritized according to academic criteria. 

    The maximum amount of participants for each course is 20, and the minimum number is 8. If the number is lower than 8, the course will be cancelled. (BSRS allocates stipends to participants according to defined criteria).

  • Requirements for course approval

    Participation in the course and common sessions. The course leader registers participants’ attendance during the course.

  • Assessment

    The course will either grant 4ECTS or 10 ECTS depending on the assessment you choose in the course. 

    Participants have two options:

    4 ECTS are granted to students for submitting a short essay and carrying out a student presentation during BSRS. 

    10 ECTS are granted to students for :

                 1. Individual presentation in class of a given topic which includes some data collection and                           analysis

                 2. Submitting an individual referee report on and academic paper. The paper is due early fall                       2021.

  • Grading Scale



ECTS Credits
Teaching language

Spring. Offered  7.-17. June 2021.

Course responsible

Professor Kjell Gunnar Salvanes, Department of Economics