In this HCEO interview, ECI network member Miriam Gensowski discusses her work studying the drivers and determinants of inequality.
Gensowski's research is at the intersection of labor economics and the economics of education. "The lens that I tend to use to look at inequality is human capital, notably multidimensional human capital," she says.
She studies human capital by looking at both intergenerational and interpersonal mobility, noting that multidimensional skills influence lifetime earnings. Her work has shown that skills influence wealth and income. "This holds up even when we control for family background," she says.
Additional work has looked at how parental choices impact occupation. While it is true that there is sorting into occupations based on skills, there is also intergenerational dependence that is influenced by parents' occupation.
"To find out whether there is a remaining role for parents in these choices, we have to study occupation and education jointly," Gensowski says. "When we do that we find that they influence each other."
Her research draws on rich public registers that are available in Denmark. These data sources can then be combined with survey data, she says, in order to study the causes and consequences of inequality.
Gensowski is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Copenhagen.