Intragenerational Income Mobility in Gothenburg, Sweden, 1925–94: Before, during, and after the Rise of the Welfare State


  • Birgitta Jansson

    1. University of Gothenburg
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    • This research was supported by a grant from the Swedish Council for Work Life and Social Research (FAS). I wish to thank Björn Gustafsson, Torun Österberg, two anonymous referees and the participants in a seminar at the Department of Economic History, University of Gothenburg, for comments on a previous version.


This article compares income mobility at the household level using tax data for Gothenburg, Sweden, from 1925 to 1994. Income mobility is defined as changes in household disposable equivalent income over time. Results indicate extensive income mobility over time. Income mobility is often linked to the life cycle, and three classic poverty risks – childhood, starting a family, and old age – have been reduced. Results also show the emergence of two new poverty risks – young adulthood and family-building for immigrants – challenges that need to be addressed by future policy prescriptions.