Inequality Working Group @ EUI (Florence)

European University Institute (Florence), SPS Department

Too unequal to be fair? Multidimensional Inequality and Intergenerational Class Mobility — 18.11.2016

Too unequal to be fair? Multidimensional Inequality and Intergenerational Class Mobility

Presenter: Florian Hertel (University of Hamburg)

When: Thursday 24th November, 13.00-14.30.

Where: Seminar Room 3, Badia Fieosolana.

Abstract: Over the last three decades, inequality has been on the rise in most countries in the world. Media outlets, politicians and public intellectuals from either end of the political spectrum frequently criticize this development because it prevents the establishement of equal opportunities. While we do have a good knowledge of how inequality affects intergenerational mobility strategies, we know surprisingly little about the extent to which inequality actually constrains overall mobility chances. While economists found a strong correlation between inequality and intergenerational income elasticities (“The Great Gatsby Curve”), results from sociological research that studies several inequality dimensions and applies a multitude of stratification schemes finds only limited evidence for the negative relation between inequality and mobility chances. In our presentation, we use a novel conceptualization of inequality (between-class-inequality) and study the relation between up to three inequality dimensions (education, earnings, HH-incomes) and relative mobility chances in 35 to 51 countries. From three distinct analysis, we conclude that

a)      the level of inequality is highly correlated with intergenerational mobility chances;
b)      between class inequality in economic and cultural capital is a good representation of how social class stratifies mobility chances;
c)       inequality effectively protects higher-class families from downward mobility instead of constraining upward mobility;
The presentation closes with a brief discussion of potential normative-political conclusions, which might be drawn from our analysis.

Please be advised: We will show descriptive material that uses large brushes to paint a picture for 35 to 51 countries in the world between the years 1999 and 2015. The research design is a classical macro-to-macro analysis. Neither do we aspire (at this point) nor do we want to make a causal analysis on the individual level. There is a huge literature that shows how class differences stratify individual educational attainment, the school-to-work transition and career mobility chances to accept these as given under-lying mechanism that produces the very outcome we observe and that we relate to inequality.
Education and Social Mobility in Europe and the United States — 04.11.2016

Education and Social Mobility in Europe and the United States

Presenter: Richard Breen (University of Oxford).

When: Friday 11th November, 11.00-12.30.

Where: Seminar Room 3, Badia Fieosolana.

Abstract: I present some findings about the role of education in social mobility over the course of the 20th century, drawing on unpublished country analyses from a forthcoming volume, Education and Social Mobility in Europe and the United States (edited by Richard Breen, Ruud Luijkx and Walter Müller).  Among most of the countries we considered, social fluidity (or equality in mobility outcomes between people from different social origins) increased at some times during the 20th century.  We find that this was driven by cohort replacement, rather than by period change.  Furthermore, the expansion of educational provision, and its more equal distribution with respect to social origins, were important factors behind cohort increases in social fluidity.  In some countries educational change accounted for all the change in relative social mobility; elsewhere other factors played a role.  But the impact of educational change on fluidity was only possible because of large changes that took place in the class structures of these countries, particularly in the immediate post-World War II years.  As structural change became less marked so the rate of growth in social fluidity diminished and, in many cases, ceased.  

Accumulation of (dis) advantage within households: The role of money management practices in financial well-being of Swiss couples. — 17.10.2016

Accumulation of (dis) advantage within households: The role of money management practices in financial well-being of Swiss couples.

Presenter: Nevena Kulic (EUI)

Co-authors: Alessandra Minello (EUI) and Sara Zella (University of Oxford)

When: Thursday 20th October, 13.00-15.00.

Where: Seminar Room 3, Badia Fiesolana

Abstract: Resource theory of power assumes that the economic characteristics of partners potentially influence their decision-making and bargaining power in the household with implications for individual financial wellbeing. Hence, the partner with better earning capacity is more likely to exert more power and control over decision-making, and be financially better off. Within-household inequalities, however, could derive even more from one’s access to money than one’s relative income.

Focusing on the Swiss context, this paper aims to shed light on intra-household dynamics that influence the individual satisfaction with the financial situation of married and cohabiting couples. We offer a micro sociological perspective to analyze the within-household accumulation of advantage and disadvantage between partners in the household due to money management regime practices. There is a difference between who brings in income, who spends and manages the money, and who finally benefits. Here ideological and cultural values, in particular those of men, play an important role in accumulation or balancing out of one’s initial economic power during the life course. Our aim is to study to what extent an individual satisfaction with their financial situation in the household is associated with the relative earnings of partners, the role of both partners in the management of economic resources within the household and the gender dimension of such relations. We hypothesize that a choice of shared versus individual management of economic resources levels down the differences in well-being of partners resulting from their unequal earning power.

We rely on ten waves of the Swiss Household Panel (from 2004 to 2013), a longitudinal database rich in economic, social and demographic information. The satisfaction with financial situation, the information regarding the management of the finances inside the household, and the various forms of income are the core variables of our analysis.

Our results demonstrate an important connection between individual income contributions, money management regimes, and individual financial satisfaction in Swiss households. Contrary to our expectations, however, it is separate management regime of finances that has an independent positive effect on female financial wellbeing- net of household earnings. The same does not apply to men in the households who tend to benefit from more traditional forms of money management. Also, there is some evidence that different management regimes moderate the effect of individual financial contributions on financial satisfaction, for both men and women, compensating for or creating disadvantage.

UPCOMING EVENTS: October-December 2016 — 13.10.2016

UPCOMING EVENTS: October-December 2016

Friday 11th November, 11.00-12.30: Richard Breen (University of Oxford). Room: tbc.
Title: Education and Intergenerational Social Mobility in Europe and the US in the 20th Century.

Thursday 24th November, 13.00 – 14.30: Florian Hertel (University of Hamburg). Seminar Room 3. Title: Social Inequality and Intergenerational Mobility.

Thursday 1st December, 13.00 – 14.30: Diederik Boertien (Centre for Demographic Studies, Barcelona). Seminar Room 3. Title: Growing up with same-sex parents and educational performance.

Thursday 15th December, 14.00 – 15.30: Gordey Yastrebov (EUI). Seminar Room 3. Title: Slipping Past the Test: University after Technical College Pathway in Russia – a Route to Social Mobility or Reproduction of Social Inequality?

Lessons From a Four-Pronged Approach to Evaluating Childcare Policies in the OECD — 02.05.2016
Why Too Many Children Are Left Behind? The Role of Families and Schools — 10.04.2016

Why Too Many Children Are Left Behind? The Role of Families and Schools

Presenter: Anne Christine Holtmann (EUI)

When: Tuesday, 19 April 2016, 13h30-15h00

Where: Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana

Abstract: Why are so many children from socioeconomically disadvantaged families left behind their peers from better-off families over the early school years? Do they fall behind because they receive less support at home or because they attend worse schools? Using the ECLS-K 2011 study, I find that the achievement gap between students from socioeconomically disadvantaged families and better-off students increases during the summer holidays, whereas it remains rather constant during the school year. This finding suggests that achievement gaps are mainly caused by unequal family conditions, whereas schools equalize performance: Without schools, gaps would grow even further. The assumption behind the comparisons of summer and school year learning is that families act the same way during the school year as they do during summer. To test this assumption, I explore what children do during the summer, whether family behaviour is different during the school year and during the summer and how this varies by social background. When comparing students with different SES but similar initial performance, SES-achievement gaps grow stronger during the school year than during the summer – mainly for low-performing students. One possible explanation is that during the summer, better-off parents relax, whereas during the school year, they provide support with homework – especially if their child does not perform well in school. The alternative school-based explanation would be that socioeconomically advantaged students attend better schools because they live in richer neighbourhoods – no matter whether they perform well or not. Socioeconomically disadvantaged students, on the other hand, might have the opportunity to attend good schools only if they have ambitious parents and are especially bright.

The Patterns of Union Formation among Children of Immigrants in Sweden — 10.02.2016

The Patterns of Union Formation among Children of Immigrants in Sweden

Presenter: Ognjen Obucina (Stockholm University)

When: Tuesday, 15 March 2016, 13h30-15h00

Where: Max Weber Common Room, Badia Fiesolana

Abstract: The goal of this paper is to analyze the impact of education on the patterns of union formation among children of immigrants in Sweden. The main contribution of this study to the literature on intermarriage is that it aims to analyze the union formation by simultaneously looking at the partner’s origin and living arrangement (marriage and cohabitation with common children). This study departs from the assumption that the mechanisms determining living arrangement will work simultaneously with those determining the origin of the partner. Based on the previous research, two principal hypotheses are proposed: 1) education will be most positively associated with marriage with a native, and 2) education will be least positively (most negatively) associated with cohabitation with a co-ethnic. Data are drawn from the Swedish register data (STAR collection, 1990-2012) and cover the total population residing in Sweden. The main analysis includes Swedish-born individuals with two foreign-born parents born in the same country. Individuals enter the study at the age of 18 and are followed until the union formation, emigration, death or until the year 2012, whichever event occurs first. Separate discrete-time multinomial logit analyses are performed for men and women.  Multivariate analysis lends support to both hypotheses. The analysis also indicates that the propensity for exogamy and cohabitation varies substantially across immigrant groups.

The Relation of Multidimensional Inequality and Social Mobility — 21.01.2016

The Relation of Multidimensional Inequality and Social Mobility

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).

Children’s Time Use and Parents’ Work Schedules: The Spanish Case — 10.12.2015

Children’s Time Use and Parents’ Work Schedules: The Spanish Case

Presenter: Pablo Gracia (EUI)

Co-author: Joan García-Román (Minnesota Population Center)

When: Thursday, 10 December 2015, 13h30-15h00

Where: Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana

Abstract: We use data from the Spanish Time Use Survey (2009-2010) to investigate how children’s time use differs by parents’ work schedules (n =  595). Studying how children engage in different daily activities, and whether they receive regular support from mothers and fathers in their everyday activities, is relevant to better understand how parental work schedules generally influence child wellbeing. Yet, the literature on children’s time use has so far offered very limited evidence on this important question. The Spanish case is internationally unique due to the widespread presence of the ‘split-shift schedule,’ based on a long lunch break that splits the workday between morning and evening, having potential negative implications for children’s engagement in developmental-related activities. Our analyses will focus on whether parents are present in children’s daily activities, but we are also interested in studying a range of daily activities that are important in terms of child development, such as studying, doing homework, watching television, electronic activities, sports, and sleeping time.

Is It Effective to Ban a Political Party? [joint session with Political Behavior Group] — 24.11.2015

Is It Effective to Ban a Political Party? [joint session with Political Behavior Group]

Presenter: Andreu Arenas (EUI)

When: Tuesday, 24 November 2015, 17h00-18h30

Where: Seminar Room 2, Badia Fiesolana

Abstract: Many governments and constitutions ban the existence of parties or organisations which support or justify violence. Are political bans effective in reducing political support for the targeted political movements? Do they have side effects? In this paper, I try to answer these questions by exploiting the differential length of the ban of Batasuna across municipalities. Batasuna was a political party which was banned due to its links to the Basque terrorist organization ETA. In some municipalities it was banned for one election; in some others, for two elections. I exploit the rule used by the public prosecutor -based on observables- which gave rise to the differential length of the ban across municipalities to identify the effect of the differential length of the ban. Differences-in-differences (DiD), and DiD-Instrumental Variables estimates show that in municipalities where the ban did last for two electoral terms rather than one, Batasuna obtains significantly less support after the ban. The effect is large, persistent for at least two elections, and it has spillovers to support for Batasuna in regional elections. The effect is driven both by the extensive and the intensive margins, i.e. Batasuna running for office in a lower number of municipalities and obtaining less votes wherever they run after the ban. Moreover, I find that a longer ban increases street violence in the very short run (one month after), but it decreases it afterwards.