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The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Jürges, Hendrik / Ludwig, Sandra

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Comparable Estimates of Intergenerational Income Mobility in Italy

Patrizio Piraino1

1Università di Siena,

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy. Volume 7, Issue 2, ISSN (Online) 1935-1682, DOI: 10.2202/1935-1682.1711, October 2007

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Published Online:


This paper examines the degree and patterns of intergenerational economic mobility in Italy. It uses data from the Bank of Italy's repeated cross-section household survey. Retrospective information on parental economic status may be exploited by applying a two-sample two-stage least squares estimation. I estimate the intergenerational income elasticity for Italy and investigate the main mobility patterns across the distribution. From an overall comparison, the evidence provided in this paper hints that Italy is in the low-mobility group among advanced societies, in the range of values found in the U.S. and the UK. The transmission of economic status appears to be particularly strong at the top of the income distribution. I investigate the role of education in the transmission of economic status in Italy and find evidence that children with the same level of formal education seem to have unequal chances in the labor market depending on family background.

Keywords: intergenerational income mobility; cross sections; mobility patterns

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