Inequality Working Group @ EUI (Florence)

European University Institute (Florence), SPS Department

Inequality and social mobility in the long run, ca. 1300-1800 — 10.05.2017

Inequality and social mobility in the long run, ca. 1300-1800

Presenter: Guido Alfani (Bocconi University).

When: Monday 15th May, 13.30-15.00.

Where: Seminar Room 3, Badia Fiesolana.

Abstract: Until recently, we knew little about long-term trends in economic inequality in preindustrial times. This situation has now changed, also thanks to the activities of the ERC-funded project EINITE – Economic Inequality across Italy and Europe, 1300-1800. This project has collected, systematically and with a uniform methodology, information about long-term trends in wealth inequality and in the share of the top rich for many ancient Italian states as well as for a few other areas of Europe, from Catalonia to the Low Countries. The evidence collected strongly suggests that during the period from ca. 1300 to 1800 inequality tended to grow almost monotonically, with one exception: the century or so following the Black Death epidemic of 1347-52. These results place in a different perspective what we know about inequality trends from the nineteenth century until today. This seminar will provide an overview of the research done in the context of the EINITE project. It will also discuss the opportunity of coupling the study of  economic inequality with that of social mobility, on which a new ERC project (SMITE) will soon start.

Children’s age at parental union dissolution and parents’ post-dissolution income — 03.05.2017

Children’s age at parental union dissolution and parents’ post-dissolution income

Presenter: Peter Fallesen (Stockholm University).

When: Tuesday 9th May, 13.30-15.00.

Where: Seminar Room 3, Badia Fiesolana.

Abstract: Research shows that union dissolution has different consequences for men and women’s labor market outcomes, and that the presence of shared children mediates these differences. We do not know, however, whether and to what extent these important and gendered consequences of union dissolution depend on the child’s age when the parents dissolve their union. In this study, we use a large longitudinal population data set on unions and salaried income to examine how children’s age at union dissolution influences parents’ salaried income the first ten year after the child was born. Using both fixed effects difference-in-differences models and a natural experiment that affected time to dissolution but not dissolution risk for a smaller subsample, we control for selection into certain levels of salaried income. Results show that women who experience union dissolution while their children are younger have lower subsequent salary and labor market attachment. The effect on gross income is plausibly lower, likely due to income transfers from alimony payments or public benefits. Results show no substantial effect of children’s age at time of union dissolution for fathers’ salaried or gross income. We investigate several likely mechanisms, and show that women decrease labor market participation and experience less return to job market experience when their children are younger at time of union dissolution.

Unequal Trajectories: Prenatal Stress, Stratification, and Children’s Outcomes — 10.03.2017

Unequal Trajectories: Prenatal Stress, Stratification, and Children’s Outcomes

Presenter: Florencia Torche (Stanford University).

When: Thursday 16th March, 13.30-15.00.

Where: Emeroteca, Badia Fiesolana.

Abstract: Exposure to environmental stressors is highly prevalent and unequally distributed along socioeconomic and ethno-racial lines. While the effects of stress on children and adults are well documented, less is known about the long-term consequences when exposure to stressors occurs before birth. This project combines a natural experiment, a longitudinal survey and in-depth interviews to examine the effect of in-utero exposure to an acute stressor on children’s outcomes. We find that prenatal stress has a negative impact on children’s cognitive outcomes and that this effect is acutely stratified by social class: It is large among poor families but it fully disappears among advantaged families. We then examine potential mechanism explaining stratification: Differential exposure, sensitivity, birth outcomes, and parental responses. Quantitative evidence is inconsistent with the first three mechanisms. In-depth interviews suggest that the stratified effect of prenatal stress may emerge from parental responses. Advantaged families mobilize multiple resources that compensate for the early shock experienced by children. This study indicates that exposures to environmental stressors even before birth may provide a strong, but largely invisible, mechanism for the intergenerational transmission of disadvantage.

 

Anticipation of school entry in Italy: consequences for inequalities of educational opportunities — 23.02.2017

Anticipation of school entry in Italy: consequences for inequalities of educational opportunities

Presenter: Moris Triventi (University of Trento).

Co-author: Fabrizio Bernardi (European University Institute).

When: Monday 27th February, 13.30-15.00.

Where: Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana.

Abstract: Many educational systems provide a single annual cut-off date for school entry, meaning that all children born in a given year enter at school at the same time. However, in the Italian education system the anticipation of primary school enrolment is allowed to children who turn six years of age by 30 April of the school year. While many Italian parents’ attach positive value to anticipation of school entry (ASE), there is also growing concern in the literature that it could harm pupils’ development and subsequent achievement.

In our work, we aim to investigate for the first time the incidence, determinants and consequences of anticipation of school entry in Italy. We use data collected by the National Institute for the Evaluation of the Italian School System (INVALSI-SNV) on a whole cohort of students surveyed in the 5th grade (2012-13, last year of primary education) and 8th grade (2015-16, last year of lower secondary education), with more than one million cases. First, using binomial logistic regression models we investigate the students’ socio-demographic characteristics associated to the probability of anticipating school entry in elementary school. Second, using an approach resembling a fuzzy-RD design we estimate the effect of having anticipated school entry on a variety of outcomes measuring academic performance (standardized test scores and teachers marks, in language and mathematics) and social integration among peers in school. Finally, we assess whether the potential negative effect of ASE varies across social backgrounds. Implications for policies on school entry and their consequences for inequalities in academic achievement are discussed.

Trends in brother correlations in class and incomes in Finland: a comparison of cohorts born in 1932-67 — 01.02.2017

Trends in brother correlations in class and incomes in Finland: a comparison of cohorts born in 1932-67

Presenter: Chiara Ludovica Comolli (Stockholm University).

Co-authors: Jani Erola ( University of Turku), Juho Härkönen ( Stockholm University) and Markus Jäntti (University of Helsinki).

When: Tuesday 7th February, 15.00-16.30.

Where: Seminar Room 3, Badia Fiesolana.

Abstract: Recent assessments of cross-national and cross-cohort comparisons of intergenerational mobility have found intriguing differences in income and class mobility. For example, the United States seems to be an open society when it comes to class mobility but a rigid one in terms of income mobility. Furthermore, recent analyses have shown differences in trends in income and class mobility in Britain. In this paper, we compare trends in brother resemblance in class and incomes in Finland across cohorts born in 1932-67. We use population register data from the Finnish Census Panel to calculate brother correlations for class and incomes. We find diverging trends in brother resemblance in class and incomes, suggesting that intergenerational mobility in and family background effects on incomes and class may be governed by different processes.

The Labour Market Integration of a Single Origin Group in Multiple Destinations. The case of Southern Italian Migrants in Northern Italy and in West Germany — 17.01.2017

The Labour Market Integration of a Single Origin Group in Multiple Destinations. The case of Southern Italian Migrants in Northern Italy and in West Germany

Presenter:  Nazareno Panichella (University of Milan)

When: Tuesday 24th January, 15.00-16.30.

Where: Sala del capitolo, Badia Fiesolana

Abstract: This work studies the labour market integration of a single migrants group, the Southern Italian, towards two destinations: Northern Italy and West-Germany. The aim is to analyse whether the labour market trajectories vary through institutional contexts or follow the same integration pathway across different receiving societies. In doing this, this work expands the literature in two directions. On the one hand, it stresses the importance of macro-features of the host society for studying migrants’ integration process. On the other hand, it highlights similarities and differences between internal and international migration. The empirical analyses are based on the Longitudinal Survey on Italian Households (ILHS) and the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP), by means of Duration and Logit models. Results show that in both cases Southern migrants had higher probability of being employed than the native local population, but their inclusion took place at lower levels of the class structure. However, the higher rigidity and the strong emphasis on vocational training of the German labour market pushed Southern migrants into the unskilled urban working class. In Northern Italy, on the contrary, the possibility of entering the public sector facilitated their inclusion in the middle classes. Despite those differences, in both destinations Southern migrants had lower opportunities of upward social mobility than the native population.

Well begun is half done. Occupational attainment and upward mobility of 1.5-generation immigrants in Spain — 06.01.2017

Well begun is half done. Occupational attainment and upward mobility of 1.5-generation immigrants in Spain

Presenter: Albert Arcarons (EUI)

Co-author: Jacobo Muñoz-Comet (Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Spain)

When: Thursday 12th Janary, 13.30-15.00.

Where: Seminar Room 3, Badia Fiesolana

Abstract: In this article we study the labour market integration of 1.5 generation immigrants in Spain, one of the top receivers among new migration countries in Europe in the last two decades. Using panel data from the Spanish Labour Force Survey (2008-2016), we focus on occupational attainment and upward mobility. Results show that the experience of the 1.5 generation in the labour market is, other things being equal, similar to that of natives, regardless of ethnic origin and gender. First generation immigrants from Latin America, Africa, and Eastern Europe, however, are ceteris paribus more likely to work in low-skilled occupations. These three ethnic origingroups have the same probability as natives of moving up, largely because they are overrepresented in unskilled jobs where promotions are more likely. The low occupational mobility of the Spanish labour market, however, does not allow first generation immigrants any compensation for the mismatch of their qualifications and skills upon arrival. We conclude that, from the beginning, the 1.5 generation achieves a better match between their competences and labour market demand, an outcome which is mainly driven by their more favourable conditions of access to the labour market.

UPCOMING EVENTS: January-March 2017 — 16.12.2016

UPCOMING EVENTS: January-March 2017

Thursday 12th January; 13h30 to 15h00:  Albert Arcarons (EUI) . Title: Well begun is half done. Occupational attainment and upward mobility of 1.5-generation immigrants in Spain (co-authored with Jacobo Muñoz-Comet)Seminar Room 3.

Tuesday 24th January; 15h00 to 16h30: Nazareno panichella (University of Milan). Title: The Labour Market Integration of Southern Italian Migrants in Northern Italy and in West Germany.  Sala del capitolo.

Tuesday 7th February; 15h00 to 16h30:  Chiara Ludovica Comolli (Stockholm University). Title: Trends in brother correlations in class and incomes in Finland:  A comparison of cohorts born in 1932-62 (co-authored with Juho Härkönen, Jani Erola and Markus Jäntti).  Seminar Room 3.

Monday 27th February; 13h30 to 15h00: Moris Triventi (University of Trento).  Title: Anticipation of school entry in Italy: consequences for inequalities of educational opportunities (co-authored with  Fabrizio Bernardi).  Seminar Room 2.

Thursday 16th of MarchFlorencia Torche (Stanford University). Time and Title: TBC.

Slipping Past the Test: University after Technical College Pathway in Russia – a Route to Social Mobility or Reproduction of Social Inequality? — 07.12.2016

Slipping Past the Test: University after Technical College Pathway in Russia – a Route to Social Mobility or Reproduction of Social Inequality?

Presenter: Gordey Yastrebov (EUI)

Co-authors: Yuliya Kosyakova (Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg) and Dmitriy Kurakin (Higher School of Economics, Moscow)

When: Thursday 15th December, 14.00-15.30.

Where: Seminar Room 3, Badia Fiesolana

Abstract: This paper was motivated by a peculiar phenomenon of increasing popularity of technical college education in post-Soviet Russia. The demand for this type of education remained in steady decline throughout the 1990s ever since Russia’s market transition, largely being pushed aside by increasing demand for higher education. However, this tendency has suddenly reversed in 2009. Interestingly, 2009 was also the year in which the Unified State Examination (USE) has been introduced nationwide – a reform, which was thought to foster equal opportunities in access to higher education and efficient allocation of talent in the educational system. Since successful passage of USE has become the primary (and in many cases the only) eligibility condition to access higher education, it has increased the risks associated with poor academic performance in secondary school and, quite possibly, has forced many students to abandon plans for higher education (and switch to vocational). We argue, however, that the introduction of USE has not so much diverted poor performers away from higher education as it has redefined the educational strategies leading to it. This is deemed the most likely outcome given the specific institutional context of Russia’s educational system: Whereas the state obliges all higher education institutions to consider USE as the primary admissions criterion for all academic track takers, it allows the institutions to waive this requirement for vocational track takers and to substitute it with their own admissions criteria. Vocational track thus simply becomes a less challenging pathway to higher education for those risking the USE failure. Moreover, it potentially becomes one of the mechanisms by which socioeconomically advantaged families can easily guarantee their children access to higher education (and thus maintain social reproduction) even if the latter show little academic aptitude in school (i.e. the compensatory effects of social background). We test the validity of these and other related arguments using data from Trajectories in Education and Occupations project – a national longitudinal survey which traces a sample cohort of Russian students based on the 2011 TIMSS sample (N = 4,893). The findings are discussed in the context of efficiency and consistency of the USE reform, and the institutional adaptation of the Russian educational system in the years following its implementation.

Pathways to Parenthood and Grade Retention among Children of Same-sex and Opposite-sex Parents — 25.11.2016

Pathways to Parenthood and Grade Retention among Children of Same-sex and Opposite-sex Parents

Presenter: Diederik Boertien (Centre for Demographic Studies, Barcelona)

When: Thursday 1st December, 13.00-14.30.

Where: Seminar Room 3, Badia Fieosolana.

Abstract: The aim of this paper is to improve on earlier estimates of differences in school performance between children of same-sex and opposite-sex parents by taking into account the way in which families are created. Earlier studies disagree on whether there exist any differences in the outcomes of children from both groups, and have not yet been able to make comparisons within precise subgroups of families. We use the American Community Surveys from 2010-2014 to look at grade retention among adopted children and children living with a step-parent (N = 1,315,723; 5,172 children of same-sex parents). Our preliminary results indicate that adopted children of same-sex parents do not perform worse than adopted children living with opposite-sex parents. The same conclusion holds once making comparisons within the group of children living with a step-parent. These results are robust to various checks, distinct sample selections, and the inclusion of socioeconomic control variables.