Explaining Perceptions of Intergenerational Mobility in Austria: The Role of Information, Experience and Reference Groups

Publikation: AbschlussarbeitMasterarbeit


This thesis studies determinants of intergenerational mobility perceptions in
Austria. The following research questions - can they be changed exogenously
and do personal subjective mobility experiences and reference groups affect the
forming of those perceptions? - are answered using an online survey conducted
in Austria. First, using a randomized information treatment, I find evidence
that these perceptions can be changed exogenously. Especially the effect on
perceptions of income quintile persistence, i.e., rich children staying rich and
vice versa for poor children, proves strong and robust. However, the demand
for redistribution changes disproportionally little in turn. Second, two chan-
nels that shape these intergenerational mobility perceptions can be identified.
Individuals who think they experienced upward mobility themselves believe
significantly more in intergenerational mobility opportunities. However, no sig-
nificant difference was found between people who think they experienced no or
downward intergenerational mobility. Third, belonging to a reference group,
which is constructed based on objective characteristics such as age, education,
and urbanisation, in which relatively more upward mobility was subjectively
experienced causes people to be more optimistic as well. The opposite holds
for reference groups, where the subjective downward mobility experience is high
Gradverleihende Hochschule
  • Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2019

Österreichische Systematik der Wissenschaftszweige (ÖFOS)

  • 502027 Politische Ökonomie