Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance,
Stockholm School of Economics

No 705: Intergenerational top income mobility in Sweden – A combination of equal opportunity and capitalistic dynasties

Anders Björklund (), Jesper Roine () and Daniel Waldenström ()
Additional contact information
Anders Björklund: Swedish Institute for Social Research, Postal: Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Jesper Roine: SITE, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, SE-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Daniel Waldenström: IFN, Postal: P.O. Box 55665, , SE-10215, Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: This paper presents new evidence on intergenerational income and earnings mobility in the top of the distributions. Using a large dataset of matched father-son pairs in Sweden we are able to obtain results for fractions as small as 0.1 percent of the population. Overall, mobil-ity is lower for incomes than for earnings and it appears to decrease the higher up in the distribution one goes. In the case of incomes, however, we find that mobility decreases dramatically within the top percentile of the population. Our results suggest that Sweden, well-known for its egalitarian achievements, is a society where equality of opportunity for a large majority of wage earners coexists with capitalistic dynasties.

Keywords: Intergenerational income mobility; top incomes; earnings inequality; income inequality; welfare state; non-linear regression; quantile regression

JEL-codes: D31; J62

21 pages, November 4, 2008

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