Lecture 8


How does intergenerational mobility differ between and within countries?

How should we interpret these differences?

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 geographic variation? This is the major challenge you have in this lecture, a discussion that started with our introduction of the Great Gatsby Curve which involved differences between countries.

To ask the same question we posed in our study of differences through times: what are the challenges we face in bringing together our empirical insights with our theoretical understanding to draw conclusions for public policy? In addition, one must wonder if within country comparisons are particularly valuable. In this lecture, which Josh will lead, we will read and discuss a seminar paper using data from the United States, that by Raj Chetty and his co-authors … this is must read in the American literature in large part because it is the first to use administrative data, and to exploit the opportunities it offers.

Chetty, Raj, Nathaniel Hendren, Patrick Kline, and Emmanuel Saez (2014). “Where is the Land of Opportunity? The Geography of Intergenerational Mobility in the United States.Quarterly Journal of Economics. 129 (4): 1553–1623.

Connolly, Marie, Miles Corak, and Catherine Haeck (2019). “Intergenerational Mobility between and within Canada and the United States.” Journal of Labor Economics. 37 (S2): S595-S641.