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Symposium 2015

Virtual Library File - Income Inequality, Equality of Opportunity, and Intergenerational Mobility

The Challenge

For a generation after World War II, growth rates in much of the developed capitalist world were high and income inequality was by historical standards relatively reduced. More recently, however, ineq ...

For a generation after World War II, growth rates in much of the developed capitalist world were high and income inequality was by historical standards relatively reduced. More recently, however, inequality appears to have risen sharply, with especially marked increases near the top of the income distribution. Wealth has been less studied, but appears even more concentrated in many countries.

The paper presents evidence that countries with more inequality at one point in time also experience less earnings mobility across the generations, and discusses the mechanisms that underlie the relation between inequality and mobility.