Education

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

The association between mother’s education level and early child language skills; findings from three European cohort studies

The development of language skills during the early years of a child’s life are vital for school readiness, educational attainment, and later life outcomes. The socio-economic background of parents, as measured by occupation, income, and level of education, have been found to significantly affect child language skills and the differences we see between children.

Father’s occupation, children’s vocabulary, and whether changing occupation creates social mobility in the UK

In the UK the issue of social mobility, the link between a person’s life outcomes and that of their parents, has been of concern since the 1970s. Despite many interventions and policy initiatives this link has become “entrenched” with those who are born into low-income families taking on average 5 generations to reach the mean … Read more

The Intergenerational Elasticity of Earnings: Exploring the Mechanisms

Rich parents have rich children. Why is that? This paper evaluates several different potential channels that might explain the persistence in earnings between parents and children. In particular, the researchers study the relative importance of differences in years of schooling, cognitive skills, parental investments, and family background. To do so, they use a cohort born … Read more

The effect of COVID-19-related school closures on students’ well-being: Evidence from Danish nationwide panel data

New research from Denmark suggests that in some respects students’ wellbeing improved during the Spring 2020 lockdown, and that this effect was strongest among students of lower socioeconomic status. The study used data from the Danish Student Wellbeing Study, which is carried out nationwide on an annual basis. It compared responses from students aged 12-15 … Read more

Educational differentiation in secondary education and labour-market outcomes

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Issue: 2021
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Countries differ in the way in which they organise their education systems. With this special issue, we want to pay particular attention to the period of secondary education, the different institutional approaches that countries pursue during that phase and the long-term consequences for individual labour-market outcomes that follow from it. Secondary education is probably the … Read more

Lives on track? Long‐term earnings returns to selective school placement in England and Denmark

This paper looks how selective schooling affected the lifetime earnings of people born in the 1950s, and finds it did little to improve earnings or to increase social mobility in England. The researchers used data from the National Child Development Study on 15,000 people  born in England and Wales in a single week in March … Read more

Social origins, tracking and occupational attainment in Italy

This study looks at the long-term effects of pupils’ choices between academic and vocational tracks at age 14. It finds that while there is no difference in employability between the two groups, those on the academic track gain advantages even if they do not go on to gain a degree. The analysis is based on … Read more

Social origins, track choices and labour-market outcomes: evidence from the French case

This paper examines the consequences of following an academic versus vocational path in upper secondary school in France in terms of job attainment and earnings at the entrance into the labour market. Using rich nationally representative longitudinal data running from the beginning of secondary education until entrance into the labour market, the researchers identify the … Read more