Vi økonomer arkiverer dette under ‘intergenerasjonell overføring’, denne gang av jobbmuligheter.
But Denmark has a little secret, one it shares with Canada, about how kids get jobs, and about how this determines life chances even in places with low inequality.
The Russell Sage Foundation has just published a collection of essays, edited by John Ermisch, Markus Jäntti, and Timothy Smeeding, that examines the transmission of advantage and disadvantage across generations.
Some of the chapters in the book, called From Parents to Children, deal with the important influence of early childhood education in determining adult outcomes, reflecting both parental investments and school quality.
This theme reinforces existing research in economics, psychology, and sociology, but the chapter I co-authored with two Danish researchers, Paul Bingley and Niels Westergård-Nielsen, argues that parents make a whole host of investments in their children throughout their lives, and in particular the support they offer in getting them a job is also important in determining life chances.
Our research examines the degree to which sons end up working in the very same firm as their fathers, an aspect of social mobility that is directly related to equality of opportunity.
We find three remarkably similar outcomes in Canada and Denmark. These findings may have a broader relevance for other countries because we are comparing two very different labour markets, one in North America and another in Europe.
First, the transmission of employers between fathers and sons is a common feature, with about 30% of young Danes and 40% of Canadians having at some point been employed with a firm that also employed their father.
In large measure this is associated with the first jobs these individuals get during their teen years, but for four to about six percent it also refers to their main job in adulthood.
I dette tilfellet er det også intergenerasjonell overføring av ulikhet. Det betyr at de sønnene som jobber i samme selskap som engang ansatte faren er også i det øvre sjiktet av inntektsfordelingen: