November 16, 2010

Norway - the land of opportunity?

When travelling this weekend I did some catchup in the pile of unread magazines and found this graph in The Economist:

It shows the relative income differences from one generation to the next (US=1). And it turns out Norway scores very well on this metric, so maybe state funding of educational loans and a pretty egalitarian society pays off in the end. The income mobility is almost 3 times that in the US and the UK.

Interestingly enough, the UK scores just as well as the US. I guess it is just prejudice, but I have always thought of the US as the classical meritocracy - if you are good, you can succeed no matter your background - while my oversimplification of the UK society is as more of a gentlemen's club where the right school, connections and parents are all a necessity to do well.

So the American Dream might just as well happen in Norway, today? I guess still lawyers breed lawyers more often than others, but on a macro level it does not look too bad. Anyway, I think it is a graph to be proud of (still a pity to be beaten by the Danes again, of course).


  1. Better to copy the educational loans system from Denmark, since each students get more money, and the don't need to return it, even the call it loans.

    And Denmark scores better than us.