Familjebakgrund spelar mindre roll numera

Ny forskning visar att familjebakgrundens betydelse för hur man klarar sig ekonomiskt i livet har minskat i Sverige. Den mest troliga förklaringen: längre utbildning. Som autonomist välkomnar jag denna utveckling. Det är individuella prestationer, inte ens bakgrund och uppväxt, som primärt ska avgöra hur det går för en.

Forskningen jag har i åtanke har genomförts av Anders Björklund, Markus Jäntti och Matthew Lindquist, som i ”Family Background and Income during the Rise of the Welfare State” presenterar följande diagram över korrelationen mellan bröders inkomster som vuxna för elva kohorter födda mellan 1932 och 1968 (med konfidensintervall):

korr1.jpg

Abstract:

The goal of this study is to examine trends in the importance of family background in determining adult income in Sweden. We investigate whether the association between family background and income in Sweden has changed for cohorts born 1932-1968. Our main finding is that the share of the variance in long-run income that is attributable to family background, the so-called brother correlation in income, has fallen by some 11 percentage points from 0.34 for the cohorts of brothers born in the early 1930s to below 0.23 for the cohorts born around 1950. From then on, the correlations have been more or less stable and are in line with earlier estimates. When we adjust income for the income return to years of schooling, we find constant brother correlations in income. The main effect is coming from changes in the distribution of schooling across cohorts. This finding is consistent with the hypothesis that education policies have been a key factor in equalizing life chances in Sweden.