diciembre 18, 2023
Autor: WID.world

Intergenerational mobility in France

How much do our parents’ incomes determine how much we earn? Is there a link between how easily we move up the social ladder between generations and whether we move geographically?

Intergenerational persistence has now been estimated for a large number of countries. However, much remains to be known for France, a country with relatively modest income inequality after taxes/benefits by international standards and largely inexpensive tuition fees for higher education.

In this paper, Louis Sirugue and Gustave Kenedi use administrative data to provide new estimates of intergenerational income mobility in France for children born in the 1970s, allowing for a comparative analysis with other countries. They also examine the relationship between intergenerational and geographic mobility in France.

Key findings:

  • France is characterized by a strong persistence at the national level. It ranks among the highest in OECD countries, with Italy and the United States, and far from Australia, Canada, and Scandinavian countries. 9.7% of children born to parents in the bottom 20% reach the top 20% in adulthood, four times less than children from the top 20%.
  • There are significant spatial variations in intergenerational mobility across departments, and a positive relationship between geographic mobility and intergenerational upward mobility. The expected income rank of individuals from the bottom of the parent income distribution who moved towards high-income departments is around the same as the expected income rank of individuals from the 75th percentile who stayed in their childhood department.


This working paper is a preprint version of the article: Kenedi, G. and Sirugue, L., 2023. Intergenerational income mobility in France: A comparative and geographic analysis. Journal of Public Economics, 226, p.104974).



  • Gustave Kenedi, Copenhagen Business School, World Inequality Lab, CI-Migration
  • Louis Sirugue, Paris School of Economics



  •  press[at]wid.world