IZA DP No. 3801: Intergenerational Top Income Mobility in Sweden: A Combination of Equal Opportunity and Capitalistic Dynasties
revised version published as 'Intergenerational top income mobility in Sweden: Capitalist dynasties in the land of equal opportunity?' in: Journal of Public Economics, 2012, 96 (5-6), 474-484
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, mobility 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.