Back to the calendar
IRES Lunch Seminar - Fabien Petit, AMSE
By IRES Lunch Seminar

Fabien Petit


will give a presentation on

Inter-generational Mobility and Job Polarization



Job polarization has been a major source of rising income inequality in high-income economies in recent decades. This paper argues that it has also resulted in reduced social mobility. We use data for two cohorts in the UK that entered the labour market at two points in time that differed considerably in terms of the structure of employment, with the younger cohort facing a more polarized environment. In this context, we examine the determinants of the probability of being in high-, middling- and low-paying occupations at age 42 and their relationship with parental income. The data indicates that the effect of the latter on those probabilities is stronger for the younger than for the older cohort. Moreover, the reduction in the availability of middling jobs for young individuals has been a major factor in this change. On the one hand, those who start their careers in middling jobs have a high probability to move to high-paying occupations, but with fewer entry jobs of this type, this source of upward mobility dried out. On the other, those who started in low-paying jobs experienced mobility mainly by moving into middling occupations. For the younger cohort this is less likely than for the older one, increasing the probability of them remaining in low-paying employment. The reduction in the availability of middling jobs has then implied that individuals from less well-off backgrounds are more likely to both start their careers in low-paying jobs and to stay there in the younger than in the older cohort.