Lecture "Abilities and Mobility"
Professor GØsta Esping-Andersen, Department of Political, and Social Sciences, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain
Professor GØsta Esping-Andersen is 2017/2018 Sackler Lecturer of the Mortimer and Raymond Sackler Institute of Advanced Studies.
Exploiting the recent PIACC data, we examine both upward and downward social mobility within 21 advanced nations. Our aim is to identify the relative influence of social origins versus individual cognitive and non-cognitive skills. We pay particular attention to the possibility of skills compensation — social skills may compensate for weak cognitive abilities, or vice-versa. This is, as far as we know, the first time mobility research has examined such kinds of skills-compensatory behavior. In line with previous research we, too, uncover a significantly more egalitarian mobility pattern in the Nordic countries. This however obtains also for Canada and the Netherlands. As a novel contribution to the literature, our analyses suggest that skills compensation is particularly prominent in Scandinavia, protecting high-SES sons from the risk of downward social mobility.