Industrialization, inequality and intergenerational mobility : Subnational variation in intergenerational social mobility across Europe

University essay from Stockholms universitet/Sociologiska institutionen

Abstract: In this study I explore how intergenerational social mobility varies between subnational regions across Europe and whether any contextual factors are associated with levels of mobility. Support is found for subnational variation in class and occupational rank mobility within 24 European countries using the European Social Survey. Two theoretical frameworks are applied, the industrialization thesis (more economic development leads to more mobility) and an inequality framework (more inequality leads to less mobility). A bivariate association is shown between higher levels of economic development and higher levels of mobility on a regional level. Support for the inequality framework is seen in that a higher at-risk-of-poverty-rate is associated with lower levels of absolute class mobility, which was found to be a result of within-country variation. Between-country variation is seen concerning the association between both lower rates of absolute class mobility and higher rates of people living in low work intensity-households and severe material deprivation. Further, a higher rate of workers in the primary sector is found to be associated with lower mobility rates. In conclusion, this study shows that local economic factors, and not only national, contribute to explaining variation in intergenerational mobility.

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