Intergenerational Mobility Within and Across Nations Conference

September 2009, University of Wisconsin–Madison

IRP held a working conference on “Intergenerational Mobility Within and Across Nations” at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Cosponsored by the European Commission, FP 6; the Russell Sage Foundation; and the PEW Charitable Trust, the conference was organized by Timothy Smeeding, IRP Director, University of Wisconsin–Madison; Robert Erikson, Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University; and Markus Jäntti, Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University.

Conference sessions included examination and discussion of the mechanisms behind intergenerational persistence and mobility in the United States and several other nations, including but not limited to the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Sweden, and Finland. Topics covered included the effect of childhood poverty on future earnings and family income; the role of early childhood programs and family factors on child achievement; income-related gaps in school readiness; intergenerational wealth transfers and credit market constraints; the role of parents in occupational choice; and the role of social institutions in intergenerational mobility.

Persistence, Privilege, and Parenting book cover

An edited volume based on conference presentations was published in September 2011: Persistence, Privilege, and Parenting: The Comparative Study of Intergenerational Mobility, eds. Timothy Smeeding, Robert Erikson, and Markus Jäntti, Russell Sage Foundation.


Related Publications

From Parents to Children: The Intergenerational Transmission of Advantage

From Parents to Children: The Intergenerational Transmission of Advantage-ThumbnailJohn Ermisch, Markus Jäntti, and Timothy M. Smeeding, editors, May 2012, 440 pp.

Does economic inequality in one generation lead to inequality of opportunity in the next? In From Parents to Children, an esteemed international group of scholars investigates this question using data from ten countries with differing levels of inequality. The book compares whether and how parents' resources transmit advantage to their children at different stages of development and sheds light on the structural differences among countries that may influence intergenerational mobility.

As economic inequality in the United States continues to rise, the national policy conversation will not only need to address the devastating effects of rising inequality in this generation but also the potential consequences of the decline in mobility from one generation to the next. Drawing on unparalleled international datasets, From Parents to Children provides an important first step.

For further information: Russell Sage Foundation Press, 112 East 64th Street, New York, NY 10021; phone: 212-750-6000; fax: 212-371-4761; ($59.95 paperback).