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CEP discussion paper
Unequal learning and labour market losses in the crisis: consequences for social mobility
Lee Elliot Major, Andrew Eyles and Stephen Machin February 2021
Paper No' CEPDP1748:
Full Paper (pdf)

JEL Classification: I24; J63; J21; J62 I24; J63; J21; J62 I24; J63; J21; J62

Tags: learning loss; labour market loss; crisis; social mobility; covid-19

The unequal learning and labour market losses arising in the UK due to the Covid-19 pandemic are used to assess the consequences for social mobility. Labour market and learning losses have been more pronounced for people from poorer families and this is incorporated into a generalisation of the standard, canonical social mobility model. A calibration shows a significantly higher intergenerational elasticity – reflecting lower social mobility – because of the uneven nature of losses by family income, and from dynamic scarring. Results from a randomised information experiment incorporated in a bespoke Social Mobility Survey corroborate this, as participants become more sceptical about the social mobility prospects of the Covid generation when given information about the losses that have occurred in the crisis.