Assessing the suitability of the Longitudinal and International Study of Adults for the estimation of intergenerational income mobility

Articles and reports: 89-648-X2020003


This study investigates the suitability of Canada's Longitudinal and International Study of Adults (LISA) for research on intergenerational income mobility. The LISA combines survey data, collected biennially since 2012, and the personal income tax records of both respondents and their past and present family members. In comparison, existing work on intergenerational mobility in Canada has often used the Intergenerational Income Database (IID), a purely administrative dataset based on the universe of tax filers. The IID's size has allowed researchers to describe the experience of mobility of narrowly defined geographic units and cohorts. However, its potential to investigate the mechanisms underlying these patterns is limited, given the small set of variables it informs. As such, the LISA is a promising candidate to further our understanding of the drivers of mobility. This study reproduces the analysis from four key papers that have documented the intergenerational transmission of income in Canada using the IID. Despite having a much smaller sample size and a different approach to the establishment of parent-child links, it finds that the LISA produces results that are consistent with the existing literature. This study also explores the sensitivity of rank-rank estimates to the choice of different specification and present results that will guide the methodological choices to be made by users of the LISA intergenerational family files in combination with LISA variables from the survey data.

Issue Number: 2020003
Author(s): Simard-Duplain, Gaëlle; St-Denis, Xavier
FormatRelease dateMore information
PDFMarch 17, 2020
HTMLMarch 17, 2020