Presenter: Florian Hertel (EUI)

When: Thursday, 21 January 2016, 13h00-14h30

Where: Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana

Abstract: The project aims at broadening our understanding regarding the relationship between stratification and social mobility. For the present purpose, we define social mobility as the intergenerational movement between parental and individual social positions. While the dominant tradition of mobility research states that country differences in social mobility are either minor and mostly unsystematic or uninteresting, newer research suggests that social mobility varies in systematic ways across countries. Exploiting cross-country variation, we ask to what extent mobility differs between countries that differ in terms of inequality in several different dimensions. Initially, we single out four dimensions, i.e. education, earnings, incomes and occupations, in which stratification arguably affect social mobility processes mainly by stratifying experienced opportunity structures. We then propose several indicators to map the stratification in these dimensions – e.g. GINI, P90/p10 ratios, differential returns to education – and study the extent to which social mobility varies with the degree and type of inequality. Finally, we study the multivariate relationship between levels of inequality and (absolute and relative) social mobility to understand the relative importance of each inequality dimension. Empirically, we employ cross-sectional data from the EU-SILC and the ISSP (and if time allows we will include comparable U.S. data).

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