Macro-Economic Determinants of Cross-Country Differences in Intergenerational Transmission of Economic Disadvantage in Europe

Inequality, Taxation and Intergenerational Transmission

ISBN: 978-1-78756-458-9, eISBN: 978-1-78756-457-2

ISSN: 1049-2585

Publication date: 28 December 2018


Adults raised in poor households tend to be more prone to live in poverty than the rest, ceteris paribus. This holds true even in the presence of observed income transmission channels such as education attainment. We identify this differential poverty risk as intergenerational transmission of economic disadvantage (ITED). This chapter contributes to the literature on cross-country differences in the intensity of ITED in the EU by explicitly testing how macro-economic/institutional features shape the phenomenon. Working on a sample of 30- to 39-year-old interviewees from the EU-SILC 2011 module on Intergenerational transmission of disadvantages, the authors find that, first, past income inequality is positively correlated with current ITED intensity; second, past efforts on inequality reduction via social protection for families with children and unemployment benefits are negatively correlated with later ITED levels; finally, educational expansion correlates with lower ITED, pointing to the relevance of public investments in education as a way to fight inequality of opportunity.




The authors gratefully acknowledge funding from the Ramón Areces Foundation (Spain)—XII Concurso Nacional para la Adjudicación de Ayudas a la Investigación en Economía.


Davia, M. and Legazpe, N. (2018), "Macro-Economic Determinants of Cross-Country Differences in Intergenerational Transmission of Economic Disadvantage in Europe", Bishop, J. and Rodríguez, J. (Ed.) Inequality, Taxation and Intergenerational Transmission (Research on Economic Inequality, Vol. 26), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 197-217.

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