Brother correlations in earnings in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden compared to the United States

Anders Björklund, Tor Eriksson, Markus Jäntti, Oddbjörn Raaum, Eva Österbacka

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    Abstract

    The correlation in economic status among siblings is a useful "omnibus measure" of the overall impact of family and community factors on adult economic status. In this study we compare brother correlations in long-run (permanent) earnings between the United States, on one hand, and the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden) on the other. Our base case results, based on very similar sample criteria and definitions for all countries, show that this correlation is above 0.40 in the United States and in the range 0.14-0.26 in the Nordic countries. Even though these results turn out to be somewhat sensitive to some assumptions that have to be made, we conclude that the family and community factors are more important determinants of long-run earnings in the United States than in the Nordic countries.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Pages (from-to)757–772
    Number of pages16
    JournalJournal of Population Economics
    Volume15
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2002
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Keywords

    • earnings inequality
    • intergenerational mobility
    • long-run earnings

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