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Long-Run Factors Influencing Intergenerational Perceived Job Status Mobility

Inequality, Taxation and Intergenerational Transmission

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

Publication date: 28 December 2018


There are conflicting views of the primary role of income inequality in economic development. Many expect that higher income shares at the top reflect substantial economic contributions while others think that these increases in top shares have not translated into higher economic growth. Recently, this debate has been reinvigorated by a new proposal: higher income inequality could hurt economic performance by decreasing future intergenerational mobility. We contribute to this debate by examining the relationship between intergenerational perceived job status mobility and past income inequality. We find a robust negative association of lagged income inequality with upward intergenerational job status mobility and a robust positive association of lagged income inequality with downward intergenerational job status mobility. In addition, we find that the quality of political institutions and religious fractionalization both contribute positively to job status mobility. Higher levels of past Gross Domestic Product (GDP) result in less upward job status mobility and more downward job status mobility.




We acknowledge the helpful comments offered by participants at the Conference “The consequences of economic inequality for economic performance” held in Columbia University (New York). Responsibility for any error is the authors’ alone. Rodríguez acknowledges funding from the Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad of Spain under project ECO2016-76506-C4-1-R, and Comunidad de Madrid (Spain) under project S2015/HUM-3416-DEPOPORCM.


Bishop, J.A., Liu, H. and Gabriel Rodríguez, J. (2018), "Long-Run Factors Influencing Intergenerational Perceived Job Status Mobility", Bishop, J.A. and Rodríguez, J.G. (Ed.) Inequality, Taxation and Intergenerational Transmission (Research on Economic Inequality, Vol. 26), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 219-246.



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