Discussion paper

DP10496 Correlating Social Mobility and Economic Outcomes

We apply a novel measure of intergenerational mobility (IM) developed by Güell, Rodríguez Mora, and Telmer (2014) to a rich combination of Italian data allowing us to produce comparable measures of IM of income for 103 Italian provinces. We then exploit the large heterogeneity across Italian provinces in terms of economic and social outcomes to explore how IM correlates with a variety of outcomes. We find that (i) higher IM is positively associated with a variety of ?good? economic outcomes, such as higher value added per capita, higher employment, lower unemployment, higher schooling and higher openness and (ii) that also within Italy the ?the Great Gatsby Curve? exists: in provinces in which mobility is lower cross-sectional income inequality is larger. We finally explore the correlation between IM and several socio-political outcomes, such as crime and life expectancy, but we do not find any clear systematic relationship on this respect.


Rodríguez Mora, J, M Güell, M Pellizzari and G Pica (2015), ‘DP10496 Correlating Social Mobility and Economic Outcomes‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 10496. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp10496