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The socio-economic gradient in educational attainment and labour market outcomes: A cross-national comparison

Anders, JD; Jerrim, J; (2017) The socio-economic gradient in educational attainment and labour market outcomes: A cross-national comparison. In: Pathways to Adulthood: Educational opportunities, motivation and attainment in times of social change. (pp. 25-50). UCL IOE Press: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper reviews evidence on the link between family background, educational attainment and labour market outcomes across four rich English-speaking countries (Australia, Canada, England and the United States of America). It uses a life course approach, where the magnitude of socio-economic disparities is measured and compared cross-nationally at key transition points. We find that socio-economic inequalities are usually (although not always) smallest in Canada and greatest in the USA. Thus, drawing upon evidence from a collection of independent studies, we find little evidence to support suggestions that the USA is the land of opportunity, where individuals from humble origins can successfully pursue the American dream. Rather, family background matters more to lifetime opportunities in the USA than in other comparable countries.

Type: Book chapter
Title: The socio-economic gradient in educational attainment and labour market outcomes: A cross-national comparison
ISBN-13: 9781782772088
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.ucl-ioe-press.com/books/higher-educati...
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership > Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10051407
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