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Educational expansion and its consequences for vertical and horizontal inequalities in access to higher education in West Germany

For scholars of social stratification one of the key questions regarding educational expansion is whether it diminishes or magnifies existing inequalities in educational attainment. The effect of expansion on educational inequality in tertiary education is of particular importance, as tertiary education has become increasingly relevant for labour market prospects and life course opportunities. Our article studies the access to tertiary education of students with different social origins in light of educational expansion in Germany. First, we examine inequalities in access to four vertical alternatives of postsecondary education by means of multinomial regression with national data from four school-leaver surveys from 1983, 1990, 1994, and 1999. Second, for those students who enrol at a tertiary institution, effects of social origin on horizontal choices of fields of study are analysed. Results show that unequal opportunities to access postsecondary and tertiary institutions remain constant at a high level. Likewise, social background effects have not changed over time for the choice of field of study. Thus, students from different social backgrounds did not change their educational strategies irrespective of the ongoing expansion of secondary and tertiary education.

For scholars of social stratification one of the key questions regarding educational expansion is whether it diminishes or ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Reimer, David; Pollak, Reinhard
Date: 2010
Geographic subjects: Germany; Europe
Journal title: European sociological review
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Equity; Higher education; Labour market;

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European sociological review

The European Sociological Review (ESR) is a social science journal specialising in the area of empirical, quantitative and comparative studies. It is accepted as one of the leading journals in the field. It has played a major role in creating new standards of quality of evidence and rigour of argument in European sociology, and thus in raising its international profile. The journal contains articles in all fields of sociology ranging in length from short research notes up to major reports. It is published six times a year.

The European Sociological Review (ESR) is a social science journal specialising in the area of empirical, quantitative and ...  Show Full Abstract  

Date: 1985
Geographic subjects: Europe
Resource type: Journal
Subjects: Culture and society; Employment; Teaching and learning

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Explaining participation differentials in Dutch higher education: the impact of subjective success probabilities on level choice and field choice

In this article we examine whether subjective estimates of success probabilities explain the effect of social origin, sex, and ethnicity on students’ choices between different school tracks in Dutch higher education. The educational options analysed differ in level (i.e. university versus professional college) and fields of study (i.e. science versus non-science). First we analyse students’ self-assessed success probabilities for specific tracks in higher education. We hypothesize that differences in demonstrated academic ability explain these perceived success probabilities. Next, we test whether these success probabilities contribute to explaining educational decisions and differentials herein with respect to social background, sex, and ethnicity. We use the Dutch Participation in Higher Education dataset wave 1995 and 1997 to answer our questions. Success probabilities differ across social origins, between men and women, and across ethnic groups, even after controlling for ability differences. Success probabilities contribute to the explanatory model for school transition decisions which differ by field of study and level of schooling. They also help to explain social origin and sex-based differentials in field choice, but not in level choice. Ability is not a sufficient indicator for self-perceived success probabilities: success probabilities explain educational differentials better than ability.

In this article we examine whether subjective estimates of success probabilities explain the effect of social origin, sex, ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Tolsma, Jochem; Need, Ariana; de Jong, Uulkje
Date: 2010
Geographic subjects: Netherlands; Europe
Journal title: European sociological review
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Higher education; Outcomes; Participation;

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Fixed-term contracts at labour market entry in West Germany: implications for job search and first job quality

Fixed-term contracts have become very relevant in the transition from school to work. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP) for the period 1984-2006, this article analyses differences in the timing of receiving a fixed-term contract or a permanent contract throughout the duration of first-job search and whether fixed-term contracts are associated with lower initial wages. Competing risk duration models reveal that school leavers initially receive more often permanent contracts but that a certain proportion also accepts temporary jobs. For transitions to both fixed-term and permanent contracts, we find that the longer the time spent searching for a job, the lower the transition probability to a job. The negative duration dependence effect is even more pronounced for fixed-term employment. Comparing labour market entrants with similar individual and job characteristics using propensity score matching techniques show that entrants earn significantly less in fixed-term jobs compared to permanent employment. Wage penalties are slightly larger for those who actually choose fixed-term contracts in their first job, whereas randomly allocated job entrants would suffer lower wage losses. Especially graduates from tertiary education suffer high initial wage losses in fixed-term contracts.

Fixed-term contracts have become very relevant in the transition from school to work. Using data from the German ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Gebel, Michael
Date: 2009
Geographic subjects: Germany; Europe
Journal title: European sociological review
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Employment; Higher education; Income;

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Has increased women's educational attainment led to greater earnings inequality in the United Kingdom?: a multivariate decomposition analysis

It is widely believed that the growth in women's educational attainment and their increasing labour force participation, together with educational homogamy, will lead to greater inequality between households in their earnings. In this article, we use data from the United Kingdom to test that assertion. We use a new method of decomposing the change in household earnings inequality, and this allows us to identify effects associated with women's increasing educational attainment and consequential changes in their propensity to marry, in educational assortative mating and in labour-force participation. We find that changes in women's education and their behavioural consequences account for little if any of the growth in earnings inequality between households in the United Kingdom during the closing decades of the 20th century.

It is widely believed that the growth in women's educational attainment and their increasing labour force participation, ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Breen, Richard; Salazar, Leire
Date: 2010
Geographic subjects: Great Britain; Europe
Journal title: European sociological review
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Outcomes; Qualifications; Labour market;

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Job mismatches and their labour-market effects among school-leavers in Europe

In this article, [the authors] investigate the determinants of job mismatches with regard to the field of education among school-leavers in Europe. [They] also examine the effects of job mismatches on the labour-market position of school-leavers. Special attention is paid to cross-national differences in this respect. The data used are from the [European Union Labour Force Survey] EU LFS 2000 ad hoc module on school-to-work transitions. The empirical results show that a number of individual, structural and job characteristics affect the likelihood of having a job mismatch. Moreover, in countries in which the education system is vocationally oriented, the incidence of job mismatches among school-leavers is higher than in countries in which the education system is mainly general.

In this article, [the authors] investigate the determinants of job mismatches with regard to the field of education among ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Wolbers, Maarten H. J.
Date: 2003
Geographic subjects: Europe
Journal title: European sociological review
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Employment; Youth; Skills and knowledge;

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Labour market flexibilization and its consequences in Italy

Labor market ‘flexibilization’ or ‘deregulation’ is seen by many as a requirement for economic and occupational growth. As one route towards more flexibility, many European countries increased the so-called atypical or non-standard forms of employment while leaving the regulation of existing employment relations largely unchanged. In Italy, this led to a strong segmentation of the labour market. As employment is the only connection to a series of welfare entitlements, this praxis might lead to strong cleavages in the society. In this paper, we investigate the ongoing process of labour market ‘flexibilization’ and its consequences for individual labour market careers and social inequalities and ask whether the deregulation has fulfilled the expectations attached to it. In detail, we study the entries into the marginal labour market and the consequences for employment careers of these forms of ‘new’ flexible employment. Empirical findings based on Indagine Longitudinale sulle Famiglie Italiane data cast doubts on the effectiveness of the specific form of market deregulation in Italy and confirm strong long-term implications of atypical employment episodes for career chances.

Labor market ‘flexibilization’ or ‘deregulation’ is seen by many as a requirement for economic and occupational growth. As ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Barbieri, Paolo; Scherer, Stefani
Date: 2009
Geographic subjects: Italy; Europe
Journal title: European sociological review
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Labour market; Economics; Employment;

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Learning and working: the impact of the 'double status position' on the labour market entry process of graduates in CEE countries

The school to work transition in Central and Eastern Europe is a highlighted research topic because of the market transformation. The article investigates graduates from tertiary education from the perspective of their human capital investments, labelled as 'double status position' when students study and work at the same time and acquire work experience during their studies. The article distinguishes two forms of this activity: study-related and non-study-related work. Data used in the article come from recently available data sets, which surveyed respondents who had graduated from tertiary education five years prior to the projects. A broad range of Central and Eastern European countries are analysed in this study. The data contain retrospective information on studies, work activities undertaken while studying, as well as on parental education. Two research questions are studied in the article. First, the salience of the double status position is compared. Second, the influence of work activity during study on entry into the labour force is investigated using two dependent variables: the length of time graduates needed to find a job and the quality of the first job in terms of a good match between education and work. Multivariate regression models are applied to study the research questions. Results reveal that the occurrence of double status positions for graduates is in line with institutional transformation, and with the deregulation of the tertiary education system and the labour market. The impact of the acquired work experience also varies by country and depends on institutional and individual features.

The school to work transition in Central and Eastern Europe is a highlighted research topic because of the market ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Robert, Peter; Saar, Ellu
Date: 2012
Geographic subjects: Europe
Journal title: European sociological review
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Students; Outcomes; Employment;

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Mechanisms of social inequality development: primary and secondary effects in the transition to tertiary education between 1976 and 2005

Despite educational expansion and decreasing social inequalities in access to upper secondary education, increasing social inequalities can be found in the transition from upper secondary to tertiary education in Germany. Drawing on Boudon's distinction between primary and secondary effects of social origin, we describe two potential sources which can be considered responsible for the observed pattern: first, an increase in performance differentials between upper secondary graduates from different social backgrounds, and second, a heterogenization of educational motivations and post-secondary plans among upper secondary graduates. We test these hypotheses with a series of datasets of upper secondary graduation cohorts from 1976 to 2002, provided by the German Higher Education Information System and apply a decomposition method in order to test the development of the contribution of various measures of primary and secondary effects. We find that primary effects play only a negligible role for the explanation of increasing social inequalities over time, whereas the growing class-specific differences in the transition to tertiary education are primarily due to increasing secondary effects.

Despite educational expansion and decreasing social inequalities in access to upper secondary education, increasing social ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Schindler, Steffen; Lorz, Markus
Date: 2011
Geographic subjects: Germany; Europe
Journal title: European sociological review
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Equity; Higher education; Secondary education;

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Minority dropout in higher education: a comparison of the United States and Norway using competing risk event history analysis

The objective of this article is to compare college persistence patterns among minority and majority students in universities and colleges in Norway with that of the United States. Despite differences in the educational systems and economic regimes, both countries face the common challenge of ensuring educational equity, especially among students from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds and minority students. Using competing risk event history analysis, this article examines nationally representative samples of students to assess the relative year-to-year risk of dropping out from higher education among minority and majority students. We found that while the US higher education system tends to exacerbate initial socioeconomic inequalities between minority and majority students, there is no difference in the dropout risk among minority and majority students in Norway. Moreover, at the [Bachelor of Arts] BA level, we found that minority students graduate at significantly lower rates than majority students in the United States, even when we control for dropping out. Again, there is no such difference in Norway. This indicates that even though minority students in Norway are also disproportionately from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds, they are encountering fewer obstacles in higher education than minority students in the United States.

The objective of this article is to compare college persistence patterns among minority and majority students in ...  Show Full Abstract  

Authors: Reisel, Liza; Brekke, Idunn
Date: 2010
Geographic subjects: United States; North America; Norway;
Journal title: European sociological review
Resource type: Article
Subjects: Higher education; Participation; Providers of education and training;

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