Lecture 6


How has intergenerational mobility changed through time?

How should we interpret these changes?

Our study of the economic theory used to model intergenerational mobility gives us a framework to begin to address these questions. What does the empirical literature have to say about intertemporal patterns? This is the major challenge you have in this lecture, and for that matter the next, which deals with intergenerational mobility across space.

What are the challenges we face in bringing together our empirical insights with our theoretical understanding to draw conclusions for public policy?

Download the Lecture 6 slides.

Listen to the lecture with a voice-over of the slides and participate in the discussion.


Chetty, Raj, Nathaniel Hendren, Patrick Kline, Emmanuel Saez, and Nicholas Turner (2014). “Is the United States Still a Land of Opportunity? Recent Trends in Intergenerational Mobility.American Economic Review. 104 (5): 141–47.

Lee, Chul-In, and Gary Solon (2009). “Trends in Intergenerational Income Mobility.” Review of Economics and Statistics. 91 (4): 766–72.

Chetty, Raj, David Grusky, Maximilian Hell, Nathaniel Hendren, Robert Manduca, and Jimmy Narang (2017). “The Fading American Dream: Trends in Absolute Income Mobility Since 1940.” Science. 356 (6336): 398–406.

Nybom, Martin and Jan Stuhler. 2014. “Interpreting Trends in Intergenerational Mobility.” Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University. Working Paper 3/2014.

Clark, Gregory (2014). The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Solon, Gary (2018). “What Do We Know So Far about Multigenerational Mobility?Economic Journal. 128 (612): F340-F352.