Education, Occupation and Social Origin
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Education, Occupation and Social Origin

A Comparative Analysis of the Transmission of Socio-Economic Inequalities

Edited by Fabrizio Bernardi and Gabrielle Ballarino

This innovative book takes a comparative approach to the social origin–education–destination triangle (OED), looking at the intergenerational transmission of advantage in 14 countries. The intention is to debate the claim that education is the ‘great social equalizer’. The contributors examine the relation between family background, education and occupational achievement over time and across educational levels, focusing on the relationship between individuals’ social origins and their income and occupational outcomes. It will be of interest to academics and students of social policy and those interested in social inequalities and their reproduction over time.
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Chapter 3: Legacies of the past: social origin, educational attainment and labour-market outcomes in Germany

Michael Grätz and Reinhard Pollak

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This chapter studies the associations among social origin, educational attainment and labour-market outcomes in Germany for cohorts born between 1947 and 1984. Our analysis adds to a large body of studies on social mobility in Germany (e.g. Breen and Luijkx 2007; Grätz 2011; Ishida et al. 1995; Mayer and Aisenbrey 2007; Müller and Pollak 2004). Apart from including data on cohorts younger than those of previous studies, we make two particular contributions to the literature. First, we concentrate on that part of the association between social origin and labour-market outcomes which remains after introducing controls for educational attainment. Like the rest of this book, this chapter focuses on this ‘direct path’ in the social origin–education–destination (OED) triangle, which has not been the major concern of previous studies (see the Introduction to this book). Second, we include in the analysis data on respondents who lived in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), in addition to data on respondents who lived in the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG). On the one hand, earlier research on social mobility in Germany has mainly concentrated on respondents who lived in the FRG before 1989 (Breen and Lujikx 2007; Ishida et al. 1995; Mayer and Aisenbrey 2007; Müller and Pollak 2004).

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