On social mobility

Phillip Collins (Who he?- Tim):

However, the most conspicuous finding is that social mobility does not vary much between countries. Different policy regimes do not lead to very different rates. Australia, Japan and the US tend to be quite fluid; France, Germany and Italy less so. Britain sits in the middle.

Doesn\’t this rather undermine Polly\’s oft repeated mantra that a more unequal society has less social mobility? The US and Japan, for example, are pretty much at opposite ends of inequity as measured by income differentials.

6 thoughts on “On social mobility”

  1. Is social mobility really easy enough to measure with high consistency and accuracy that one can confidently do cross-country comparisons? How, for example, do you avoid confounding it with race issues? Indeed, should you care if you have confounded it? etc, etc.

  2. http://cep.lse.ac.uk/about/news/IntergenerationalMobility.pdf

    The above linked study has this to say about social mobility:

    International comparisons indicate that intergenerational mobility in Britain is of the same order of magnitude as in the US, but that these countries are substantially less mobile than Canada and the Nordic countries. Germany also looks to be more mobile than the UK and US, but a small sample size prevents us drawing a firm conclusion.

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