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Intergenerational Mobility and Labor Market Inclusion

Norway and the other Nordic countries has been among the most socially mobile societies in the world, yet previous research on the overall trends in intergenerational mobility in Norway and in the other Nordic countries also show mixed results. However, recent empirical evidence from Norway suggests that intergenerational mobility has come under pressure, particularly at the bottom of the socioeconomic class distribution.

The primary objectives of this project are to enhance our knowledge about the determinants of intergenerational mobility, to characterize recent changes in mobility and the causes behind them, and to assess the influence of institutions and policies in the shaping of equality of opportunities. 

We will analyze in more detail what has happened to intergenerational mobility over the past decades, why it has happened, and how policy makers can influence it. More specifically, we will address the following questions:

  • Does skill‐biased change in the demand for and the supply of labor translate into class‐biased change in employment opportunities?
  • Can class‐biased change in employment opportunities be sufficiently offset by qualifying people for better jobs, or do we also need to support the proliferation of low‐skill jobs?
  • How does increased inequality in the distributions of income and wealth affect intergenerational mobility?
  • What is the role of human capital investments in mediating intergenerational mobility, and how have changes in childcare institutions and educational opportunities for the offspring generation affected economic mobility?
  • To what extent is the degree of intergenerational mobility limited by genetic and social inheritance?
  • How can we best measure family background in a way that facilitates maximum comparability across time and space?

The project will build on uniquely rich administrative population registers from Norway enabling us to link and study educational and/or economic outcomes for up to three generations. It has a comparative element through close research cooperation with Swedish researchers working on similar data.



The project is funded by The Research Council of Norway (VAM). 


The Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research is the coordinating institute of the project and includes the partcipation of Knut Røed (project manager), Simen Markussen, Bernt Bratsberg, Ole Røgeberg, and Elisabeth Fevang.
The Department of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo is one of the consortium members. From the Research Unit of Social Inequality and Population Dynamics at Department of Sociology and Human Geography, UiO, the participants include Gunn Birkelund, Arne Mastekaasa, Solveig Topstad Borgen, Adrian Farner Rogne, and Torkild Hovde Lyngstad.
The international team members include David Autor (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Anna Salomons (University of Utrecht), and Martin Nybom (IFAU, Uppsala).



January 2020- December 2025


Published May 11, 2020 11:26 AM - Last modified May 13, 2020 9:22 AM