This thesis documents the evolution of absolute mobility in individual earnings, household income and household consumption in the UK over the last 25 years. Absolute mobility is defined as the fraction of children earning as much or more than the parents, in real times at a similar point in the life-cycle, and is calculated using the decomposition technique introduced by Chetty, Grusky, et al. (2017). In Chapter 1, I show that absolute earnings mobility was increasing until the mid-2000s, and then plummeted due to the fall in real weekly earnings after the Great Recession. In 2018, absolute earnings mobility was only 36 percent, about 22 percentage points lower than in 2008. This decline in absolute earnings mobility could have been avoided if real weekly earnings had continued to grow at the pre-recession trend. In Chapter 2, I show that absolute income mobility was higher in levels than absolute earnings mobility, and the measure did not experience the steep decline over the last decade. This gap between absolute earnings and income mobility can be partly explained by the inclusion of non-labour earnings and welfare transfers in household incomes, which were higher in the children?s generation compared to the parents. In addition, the rise in labour force participation of women combined with the tremendous growth in their earnings meant that dual-income households played a major role in raising and stabilizing the level of absolute income mobility.
The final chapter in this thesis investigates the effect of an early-life climate shock on mother?s breastfeeding behaviour and children?s anthropometric measures. I use the 1998 flood in Bangladesh as a natural experiment to implement the difference-in-difference framework. I find that children affected by the flood were breastfed for longer than those unaffected. In addition, contrary to previous studies, children did not report any difference in height-for-age z-scores, but had lower weight-for-age z-scores. Increased breastfeeding by mothers, along with generous assistance in the form of food and finances from the government, ensured that children did not suffer from the severe negative effect common in such extreme weather events.