More and more Dutch people earn less than their parents

Erasmus School of Econoimcs

The number of Dutch people who earn more than their parents has decreased in recent years. In Scandinavia however, we saw another trend: here, the level of welfare has been maintained. This follows from research by Hans van Kippersluis, Professor of Applied Economics, and Anne Gielen, Professor of Labour Economics and Policy at the Erasmus School of Economics, which has been published by ESB. 

Declining income mobility

In an interview with BNR Nieuwsradio, van Kippersluis explains that income mobility in the Netherlands is declining rapidly, whereas in Norway, this is not the case. Kippersluis and Gielen measured the income mobility of Dutch people born between 1970 and 1985. ‘We see that the income mobility was actually very high between 1970 and 1980, higher than in many other European countries. But for those born between 1980 and 1985, income mobility fell sharply.’

Economic crisis

Kippersluis mentions that this also happened in other European countries and probably has to do with the economic crisis that reached its peak around 2010. ‘But we also see that this did not happen in all countries.’ Kippersluis and Gielen did not research why this is exactly the case.

The anchor point of our well-being

It often remains an anchor point of our well-being, says Kippersluis: am I doing better than my parents? In general, the Netherlands has experienced a period of enormous economic growth over the past 50 years. ‘Income mobility is actually a measure of the proportionality of economic growth to the population,' says van Kippersluis. ‘That growth is what we earn together in a country, and income mobility tells us whether the economic growth actually reaches everyone. That's why it's a very important measure.’

More information

The research from Kippersluis and Gielen, published by ESB, can be downloaded above (in Dutch). 

The full item from BNR Nieuwsradio, 15 September 2020, can be found here (in Dutch). 

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