Does Intergenerational Educational Mobility Shape the Well-Being of Young Europeans? Evidence from the European Social Survey

Bettina Schuck, Nadia Steiber

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Using pooled European Social Survey data (Rounds 4-7, 2008-2014), we investigate
the relationship between intergenerational educational mobility and subjective wellbeing
(SWB) for young Europeans (N = 16,050 individuals aged 25-34 from 18 countries).
Previous research has been struggling with inconclusive results due to the methodological
challenge of disentangling the independent (i.e., "net") effect of social mobility over and
above the effects of social origin and destination. We contribute to this line of research by
contrasting mobility effects estimated in a conventional linear regression framework with net
mobility effects estimated by (non-linear) diagonal mobility models (DMM). We show how
model selection influences estimates of mobility effects and how different specifications lead
to radically different findings. Using DMM, we estimate how intergenerational educational
mobility affects the SWB of young Europeans, differentiating between downward and
upward mobility and different country groups. Our results suggest that status loss/gain across
generations affects young adults' SWB in addition to the level-effect of ending up in a lower/
higher status position only in Continental Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1237-1255
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Volume139
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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