A Comparative Analysis of the Transmission of Socio-Economic Inequalities
Edited by Fabrizio Bernardi and Gabrielle Ballarino
Chapter 13: Inequalities in returns to education in Switzerland
Focusing on the Swiss case, this chapter investigates the relation between social origins and education in labour-market success. More specifically, it addresses four research questions: (1) Does an effect of social origins exist after controlling for education?; (2) Has this effect declined over time?; (3) Does it depend on the level of education?; (4) Have the returns to education regarding the chances of accessing the upper classes varied over time? The case of Switzerland is interesting for two reasons: first, because there has been a strong upgrading of the occupational structure in recent decades (Oesch 2013); and second, because of its educational system, which is based on a dual track, where young adults choose between vocational and general education at an early age (Buchmann 1998; Meyer 2011). The chapter is organized as follows. Section 13.2 presents the Swiss case, the literature and the hypotheses. Section 13.3 describes the data and the methods used to address the research questions. Section 13.4 sets out the results of the analysis. Section 13.5 is devoted to the discussion and conclusions.
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