The ‘Great Gatsby’ Curve in 3D: Inequality of Outcomes, Inequality of Opportunities and Social Mobility across Countries

Thomas Staley
Gastón Yalonetzky

Documento de trabajo CEEY no. 01/2016

The authors revisit and update the international evidence on father-to-son income mobility originally produced by Andrews and Leigh (2009), with a more recent dataset spanning a broader array of countries. This is the broadest assessment to date, in terms of the number of countries covered by the same dataset. Secondly, the authors dig deeper and ask whether the intergenerational income correlations mainly owe to «rigidities at the bottom» (i.e. high intergenerational persistence of outcomes among the relatively poorest) or «rigidities at the top» (i.e. high intergenerational persistence among the relatively richest). Thirdly, they reconstruct the Great-Gatsby curve in «3-D» plotting their estimates of intergenerational income correlations against measures of inequality of opportunity in childhood, alongside Gini income inequality.