Social origin

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

Parenting Behaviours and Early Child Development in Europe

Social inequality related to children’s development starts early in life. Parenting behaviour as an explanatory factor has important effects on very young children’s verbal and behavior social skills, and on later school achievements.

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 association of maternal education on children’s language skills and its link to social inequality, descriptive analysis from three European cohort studies

Social inequality is a persistent global issue which many countries, governments, and policymakers aim to address. The development of language and communication skills during the early years of a child’s life are vital for school readiness, educational success, and later life outcomes. As part of a collaborative research project we sought to bring together data … 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

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

Hur viktig är familjebakgrunden för ekonomiska utfall? En jämförelse av fyra ansatser

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Issue: 2020
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Artikeln granskar fyra ansatser att studera familjebakgrundens betydelse för de ekonomiska utfallen inkomst och utbildningsår. Föräldrars och barns inkomster och utbildning samvarierar positivt, men sambanden förklarar bara en liten del av variationen i ekonomiska utfall och är i liten utsträckning kausala. Den starka kopplingen mellan syskons utfall ger däremot skäl att tro att familjebakgrunden, i … Read more