Causes and consequences of economic inequality
On Friday 2 June 2023 René Karadakic will hold a trial lecture on a prescribed topic and defend his thesis for the PhD degree at NHH.
René Karadakic´s thesis explores the causes and consequences of economic inequality on various aspects of our lives through three main chapters.
Using municipality-level income and mortality data, the first chapter shows that the stark income gradient in infant mortality across municipalities in the 1950s mostly closed in the late 1960s.
However, the income gradient in mortality for older age categories across municipalities persisted until 2010 and only flattened thereafter. Further, the infant mortality gap between rich and poor Norwegian families based on individual-level data persisted for several decades longer than the gap between rich and poor municipalities and only finally closed in the early 21st century.
The second chapter addresses how inequality can transmit across generations. Using harmonized administrative data from Scandinavia, we find that intergenerational rank associations in income have increased uniformly across Sweden, Denmark, and Norway for cohorts born between 1951 and 1979. Splitting these trends by gender, we find that father-son mobility has been stable, while family correlations for mothers and daughters trend upwards.
Finally, based on evidence from records on occupations and educational attainments, we argue that the observed decline in intergenerational mobility is consistent with female skills becoming increasingly valued in the labour market.
The last chapter concerns the determinants of inequality in longevity, focussing on the implications of hydroelectric power plant establishment in Norwegian municipalities around the beginning of the 20th century. Using a novel dataset linking individuals born between 1890 and 1910 to historic death data, I find that experiencing childhood in rapidly transforming local areas leads to an increase of ten months in age at death for men, despite a deterioration in the local public health environment. This suggests that, in the long term, economic development outweighs the negative consequences of a deteriorating public health environment and thereby increases the lifespan of individuals
Prescribed topic for the trial lecture:
Persistence of Social Status: A Critical Assessment of the Meritocracy Myth
Aud M, NHH, 10:15
Title of the thesis:
Essays on Economic Inequality and Mobility
Aud M, NHH, 12:15
Members of the evaluation committee:
Assistant professor Andreas Haller (leader of the committee), Department of Economics, NHH
Professor Ghazala Azmat, Sciences Po
Associate Professor Erik Grönqvist, University of Uppsala
Professor Aline Bütikofer (main supervisor), Department of Economics, NHH
Professor Alexander L.P. Willen, Department of Economics, NHH
The trial lecture and thesis defense will be open to the public.