DrIt’s economical go up Germany has many faces. One of them is Nabil Al-Siddiq. The friend has a black beard, a bald head – and company. Since 2008 he has been running the iPhoneStudio mobile phone repair shop in the Bockenheim district of Frankfurt.
“After school, I did an apprenticeship as a clerk in a clothing store,” he says. A degree was out of the question for him: “I wanted to start fast and make money straight away.” His father was also trained as an auto mechanic. His grandfather came from Morocco as a guest worker.
Al-Sadiq worked at Zara but did not stay there long. “I’ve noticed how much sales they make and how much the employees get from it.” So he founded his mobile phone store at the age of 23. “Back then, there were almost no iPhones, and most cell phones were really old things,” he says with a laugh. He acquired the necessary knowledge himself: “I started fixing cell phones for neighborhood kids and kept going.” He now has three employees.
The 37-year-old friend describes himself as a social climber. And he says to him independence The reason for this rise. It is just one example among many of how children from working-class families can be better off financially than their parents. Independence is especially important for this, as new research shows.
Is Germany really impenetrable?
When it comes to income mobility in Germany, the story of a country that lags behind in international comparison and offers its working-class children hardly any opportunities has lasted for long. In 2018, an oft-cited study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) which seemed to prove just that.
According to scholars at the time, it took an average of six generations for people from low-income families in this country to catch up to the middle class. Income mobility is at the level of Chile and Hungary, which is well below the OECD average and even lower than top performers such as Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden.
The finding surprised many economists, as it was more pessimistic than previous studies. Munich Ifo institute I calculated shortly thereafter that it was an odd statistic. However, the story stuck in the public discourse.
Independence is the key
A still unpublished study on the employer German Economics Institute (IW) in Cologne, which is available for the FAS, now raises further doubts about the results of the OECD. Because, as IW researcher Maximilian Stockhausen argues: the data on the basis of which Germany looks so bad have a blind spot. OECD considers dependent employees only.
Self-employed people, such as Nabil Al-Siddiq, were not included in the study. Stockhausen writes that the self-employed have a much higher “income dynamic.” This means income goes up faster — and sometimes it goes down, too.