The Drivers of Income Mobility in Europe

Working Paper 2012-262


In this paper we study intra-generational income mobility in European countries over the years shortly preceding the outburst of the global crisis. Income mobility plays a crucial role in shaping distributive patterns and is closely related to the capacity of a socio-economic system to provide equality of opportunities and the removal of social impediments. In this study we exploit the longitudinal structure of the EU-Silc database to provide a comprehensive overview of income mobility across 25 European countries, classified into six capitalistic models. After having descriptively analysed heterogeneity in income dynamics by means of alternative mobility measures, we identify the microeconomic drivers of household income mobility, focusing on the role of household and household head demographic, economic and job characteristics. Outcomes reveal that the levels and determinants of mobility differ remarkably in the various institutional models across Europe, particularly regarding demographic attributes, education and temporary/permanent/self-employment positions.

Authors: David Aristei, Cristiano Perugini .

Keywords: income mobility, household structure, institutional settings, EU-Silc data.
JEL: D31, J10, O15.