Genetic advantage and equality of opportunity in education: Two definitions, and an empirical application

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Issue: 2022
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Research on equality of opportunity has long acknowledged that genetic factors play a role in determining our level of success. But if we want to measure equality of opportunity, should we treat innate advantages as fair or unfair? And how would each of these two different perspectives affect researchers’ outcomes when they try to measure … Read more

The health impacts of universal early childhood interventions: evidence from Sure Start

This research evaluates the short- and medium-term health impacts of Sure Start, a large-scale and universal early childhood programme in England. The programme provided Sure Start Centres across the country which operated as ‘one-stop shops’ for families with children under 5, bringing together a range of support including health services, parenting support programmes, and access … Read more

Lower and upper bound estimates of inequality of opportunity for emerging economies

This paper demonstrates that internationally-accepted measures used to assess equality of opportunity tend to underestimate the level of inequality in emerging economies. The authors studied countries where longitudinal panel studies were available; comparing their results with others obtained through standard measures using official data. This allowed a comparison of income and consumption data for 12 … Read more

Gender division of housework during the COVID-19 pandemic: Temporary shocks or durable change?

This paper looks at the gender gap in housework during Covid-19. It finds that there was some increased input from men during the early stages of lockdown, but families with young children were the first to return to previous patterns. The researchers used data gathered by the Understanding Society COVID-19 study in April, May, June … Read more

The stratification of education systems and social background inequality of educational opportunity

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Issue: 2021
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This study asks two questions about the relationship between academic selection and social inequality: does increasing selection lead to a deeper social divide in education? And does postponing the age at which academic selection takes place help mitigate that inequality? The research uses data from the European Social Survey. It focuses on individuals born between … Read more

How does exposure to a different school track influence learning progress? Explaining scissor effects by track in Germany

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Issue: 2021
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The researchers in this study use the German National Educational Panel Study to compare data on the reading and mathematics scores of almost 1600 pupils in the upper and intermediate school tracks between 2010 and 2015. Even after controlling for differences in students’ backgrounds and prior attainment, they find that those on the upper track … Read more

DIAL Policy Brief No. 4 ‘Life-course insights on unemployment: What can policymakers learn from Dynamics of Inequality Across the Life-course (DIAL) research?’

There are a number of key European policy agendas related to health on which the DIAL research can shed light. This policy brief gives an overview of findings from DIAL projects in this area. Key Findings The education and working lives of adolescents and young people continue to be negatively and disproportionately affected by unemployment … Read more

DIAL Policy Brief No. 3 ‘Towards a healthier Europe: What can policymakers learn from Dynamics of Inequality Across the Life-course (DIAL) research?’

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Issue: 2021
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There are a number of key European policy agendas related to health on which the DIAL research can shed light. This policy brief gives an overview of findings from DIAL projects in this area. Key Findings Deep health inequalities which existed before Covid-19 have been rendered more severe by the crisis. Men suffer more than … Read more

DIAL Policy Brief No. 2 ‘Towards a socially mobile Europe: What can policymakers learn from Dynamics of Inequality Across the Life-course (DIAL) research?’

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Issue: 2021
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There are a number of key European policy agendas related to social mobility on which the DIAL research can shed light. This policy brief gives an overview of findings from DIAL projects in this area. Key findings: Educational opportunity is the most powerful tool in improving the life chances of those born into disadvantaged families. … Read more

Socioeconomic Background and Gene–Environment Interplay in Social Stratification across the Early Life Course

This study finds that genetic inheritance has more influence than the shared social environment alone in perpetuating social inequalities. However, the importance of genes varies according family environment: genetic influences are stronger among those growing up in the most advantaged families. The researchers studied 6,500 pairs of twins born in Finland between 1975 and 1986. They used … Read more