The Impact of Childhood Circumstances on Individual Outcomes over the Life-Course (IMCHILD)

IMCHILD is a joint research project with researchers from Germany, France, Luxembourg, Sweden, and the US.

The impact of childhood circumstances on outcomes in adulthood has been widely studied in the literature. Although much is known about the relationship between parental background and children’s performance at certain stages of their adulthood, little work has been done on analysing how childhood circumstances influence the educational and labour market outcomes of individuals over the entire course of their life. This project aims to employ a life-course perspective and analyse how circumstances in childhood affect influential decisions that mark individuals’ transition to adulthood, and how these decisions translate into social and economic outcomes at later stages in life. We will simultaneously address these questions from intergenerational mobility and equal opportunity perspectives and draw on cross-country comparisons to identify the causal mechanisms via which social and economic advantages are transmitted from one generation to another.

The goal of the project is to enhance theoretical knowledge and provide empirical evidence on the mechanisms via which childhood circumstances and parental background translate into inequality of outcomes at different stages of the life-course, and to equip policy makers with options for policy reforms.