The new OECD report on income inequality and rising poverty in most OECD countries is just out.
This is the conclusion.
Social mobility is lower in countries with high inequality, such as Italy, the UK and USA, and higher in the Nordic countries where income is distributed more evenly.
Growing inequality is divisive and polarizes societies—Greater income inequality stifles upward mobility between generations, making it harder for talented and hard working people to get the rewards they deserve. Ignoring inequality is not an option.
Children living in countries where there is al large gap between rich and poor are less likely to improve on the education and income attainment of their parents than children living in countries with low income equality. Countries like Denmark and Australia have higher social mobility, while the US, UK and Italy have lower mobility.
I have NOT read the full report in the OECD so I cannot vouch for it. But, not surprisingly, it is in line with my Australia Institute paper, Equality of Opportunity in Australia myth and reality (April 2006). I am happy to send a copy of it to anyone.