Journal of Population Economics

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 1107–1126 | Cite as

Intergenerational earnings mobility and divorce

  • Espen BratbergEmail author
  • Karsten Marshall Elseth Rieck
  • Kjell Vaage
Original Paper


This paper examines the potential effect of marital disruption on intergenerational earnings mobility. We observe the earnings of children born in 1960 and 1970 along with their biological fathers and mothers. The earnings mobility between sons and daughters relative to the earnings of their mothers and fathers is estimated. Our results suggest that divorce is associated with increased mobility, except between mothers’ and daughters’ earnings. Transition matrices reveal that the direction of the mobility is negative; children of divorced parents tend to move downward in the earnings distribution compared to children from intact families. Finally, we utilize information on the earnings mobility of siblings in dissolved families who grew up when the family was intact. The difference between pre- and post-divorce siblings is in turn compared with sibling differences in intact families.


Intergenerational earnings mobility Divorce Gender differences 



The authors would like to thank for helpful comments and suggestions from the Editor and two anonymous reviewers, Michael Lindquist and conference participants at EEA 2009 in Barcelona and SOLE 2011 in Vancouver. Financial support from the Research Council of Norway (grants 187912 and 199832) is gratefully acknowledged.

Supplementary material

148_2014_515_MOESM1_ESM.docx (54 kb)
(DOCX 53.9 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Espen Bratberg
    • 1
    Email author
  • Karsten Marshall Elseth Rieck
    • 1
  • Kjell Vaage
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

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