1 October 2017

Inclusive Growth

Economic Prospects

In this project, Ph.D student Gustav Agneman explores various perspectives on the Greenlandic economy

Greenland strives to provide its citizens a welfare state similar to that of other Nordic countries. The explicit aim is to give each Greenlander equal opportunities in life, including the provision of free schooling and health-care. The means to obtain this goes via an extensive state involvement. Indeed, the relative size of the public sector in Greenland is very large, even when compared to that of its Nordic neighbors. In spite of that, inequality is much higher in Greenland than in the Nordic countries, and there is indications of relatively low social mobility.

Generally, a large state involvement in the economy has been associated with less inequality along with better opportunities to climb the economic ladder. If that is not the case in Greenland, it is straightforward to ask, “why not?” The answer to that question holds relevance not only for Greenland today and in the future, but for economic policy in other parts of the world as well.  

Employing register data on the individual level in Greenland, this project will aim to outline some previously unexplored issues of the Greenlandic economy.

  1. An estimation of the social mobility in Greenland. This measure is crucial as it defines the degree to which the place and family in which we are born determine our later-life outcomes, and thereby serves as an indicator of the equality-of-opportunity
  2. Determinants of later-life outcomes (hence also social mobility). Combining register-data with data on educational outcome data allows for the identification of critical junctures and important impactors in the human capital accumulation function.
  3. Causal impactors in the human capital accumulation function. Employing randomized control trials (RCTs), important factors determining educational effort and/or the risk of dropping out of school can be outlined. Such experiments are often seen as the “gold standard of research”.