I'm looking for any opportunity to to track social mobility across generations.

  • 1
    For reference, it sounds like you are looking for longitudinal panel datasets. The National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and The National Longitudinal Study (NLSY) of Adolescent to Adult Health (ADD Health) seems well-suited for your purposes. I would be happy to let someone else answer with expanded information since I don't have the time to fully answer the question.
    – Kotebiya
    Jan 28, 2015 at 15:43
  • 2
    Welcome to Open Data Stack Exchange! Could you please clarify which geographic region the data should cover? Jan 28, 2015 at 17:47

3 Answers 3


This does not sound like panal data to me. It is a very classic problem in sociology and all that is required is to have parental education or class and the respondent's education or class. A simple survey like the General Social Survey (http://www3.norc.org/GSS+Website/) in the USA or the ALLBUS (http://www.gesis.org/en/allbus/allbus-home/) in Germany is sufficient, and a lot easier to work with.


the panel study of income dynamics is the authoritative source for this information


the national longitudinal surveys also have detailed questions about this, but for a shorter cohort.



For international comparisons of intergenerational mobility commonly used datasets are the International Social Survey Program (http://www.issp.org/) (in fact, both the GSS and ALLBUS mentioned above are part of the ISSP) and the European Social Survey (http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/).

For a list of such datasets in many countries, see the project International Stratification and Mobility File (ISMF) by Harry Ganzeboom and collegues (http://www.harryganzeboom.nl/ISMF)

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