The Evolution of Social Mobility: Norway during the Twentieth Century

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We document trends in social mobility in Norway using intergenerational income elasticities, the associations between the income percentiles of fathers and sons, and brother correlations. The results of all approaches suggest that social mobility increased substantially between cohorts born in the early 1930s and the early 1940s. Father-son associations remained stable for cohorts born after World War II, while brother correlations continued to decline. The relationship between father and son income percentile ranks is highly non-linear for early cohorts, but it approaches linearity over time. We discuss increasing educational attainment among low- and middle-income families as a possible mechanism underlying these trends.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-33
JournalScandinavian Journal of Economics
Issue number1
Early online date2016
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • D31
  • Intergenerational mobility
  • J31
  • J62


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