Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers in Economics,
University of Bergen, Department of Economics

No 09/11: Intergenerational Earnings Mobility and Divorce

Espen Bratberg (), Karsten Marshall Elseth Rieck () and Kjell Vaage ()
Additional contact information
Espen Bratberg: University of Bergen, Postal: Department of Economics, Fosswinckelsgt. 14, 5007 Bergen, Norway
Karsten Marshall Elseth Rieck: University of Bergen, Postal: Department of Economics, Fosswinckelsgt. 14, 5007 Bergen, Norway
Kjell Vaage: University of Bergen, Postal: Department of Economics, Fosswinckelsgt. 14, 5007 Bergen, Norway

Abstract: This paper examines the potential effect of marital disruption on intergenerational earnings mobility.We observe the earnings of children born in 1960 and 1970 along with their biological fathers and mothers. The earnings mobility between sons and daughters relative to the earnings of their mothers and fathers is estimated. Our results suggest that divorce is associated with increased mobility, except between mothers‘ and daughters‘ earnings. Transition matrices reveal that the direction of the mobility is negative; children of divorced parents tend to move downward in the earnings distribution compared to children from intact families. Finally, we utilize information on the earnings mobility of siblings in dissolved families who grew up when the family was intact. The difference between pre- and postdivorce siblings is in turn compared with sibling differences in intact families.

Keywords: Intergenerational earnings mobility; divorce; gender differences

JEL-codes: C23; J12; J62

25 pages, June 1, 2011

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