7. Mobility comparisons: Does using different measures matter?

Inequality, Welfare and Poverty: Theory and Measurement

ISBN: 978-0-76231-014-2, eISBN: 978-1-84950-208-5

ISSN: 1049-2585

Publication date: 3 April 2003


In this paper we review alternative measure of intergenerational mobility, emphasizing the distinction between absolute, relative and ordinal mobility. We then compare the performance of various mobility indices using real data. FromTreiman and Ganzeboom (1990) dataset we compare the degree of occupational and educational intergenerational (father-son) mobility in 16 countries in a single year (comprised between 1968 and 1982). From three Bank of Italy surveys (1993, 1995, 1998) we obtain a comparable measure of social prestige and we show that intergenerational mobility in Italy across regions or age cohort exhibits different trends according to different indicators. We suggest that ordinal relative and absolute measures provide divergent indications whenever we compare mobility data with markedly different marginal distributions.


Checchi, D. and Dardanoni, V. (2003), "7. Mobility comparisons: Does using different measures matter?", Inequality, Welfare and Poverty: Theory and Measurement (Research on Economic Inequality, Vol. 9), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 113-145. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1049-2585(03)09008-2

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