Indiana University SPEA Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy University of Pennsylvania AIR American University

Panel Paper: Gender Differences in Educational and Occupational Mobility Across Three Generations in Sweden

Saturday, November 14, 2015 : 2:05 PM
Tequesta (Hyatt Regency Miami)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Liana Fox, Abt Associates, Inc. and Karin Halldén, Stockholm University
Building off of recent research examining intergenerational persistence across three generations (grandparents-parents-children), this study presents new evidence on educational and occupational intergenerational mobility. Using high-quality Swedish register data spanning three generations, we estimate the degree of persistence in educational and occupational outcomes and then decompose the total variance in individual outcomes into factors attributable to the grandparents, parents and to the individual. In addition, we measure potential effects of other extended family members such as aunts and uncles of individual, as well as cousins. Our study contributes to the emerging body of evidence on the potential impact of extended family on children’s success, and verifies potential results for the Swedish setting – plausibly a rather different setting compared to the US. Using register data in Sweden, we are able to map full family trees instead of facing limited “branches” found in longitudinal surveys in the US.

In addition, our project will explore two areas in more depth. First, we will examine possible interaction effects since we hypothesize that extended family could matter more in low-SES families than in high-SES families. Second, we focus on the role of gender in the transmission process to explore whether processes differ by gender of individual or gender of kin member. We will investigate whether the success of a same-gender relative has a greater effect on an individual’s outcomes than an opposite gender relative. As social learning theory suggests that boys will imitate the behavior of fathers and girls will imitate the behavior of the mother, it is then reasonable to assume that they will also imitate other same-gender relatives in the extended family. In addition to providing role models, the extended family could give access to information and other resources.