It Deepens Like a Coastal Shelf: Educational Mobility and Social Capital in Germany

Stephany, Fabian ORCID: (2019) It Deepens Like a Coastal Shelf: Educational Mobility and Social Capital in Germany. Social Indicators Research, 142. pp. 855-885. ISSN 0303-8300

Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0).

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The prospects for the next Generation - whether young people, regardless of their backgrounds, have equal chances of social success - pose a momentous problem for modern societies. Inequality of opportunity, often reflected by social immobility, is a threat to the egalitarian promise and the stability of your society. This work argues that social capital transmission plays an important role for the chances of social success in Western societies. For the example of Germany, it is reasoned that weak social capital environments deepen existing disadvantages. Even though all levels of education are easily accessible and affordable, Germany has one of the lowest levels of educational mobility among the industrialized countries of the world. Problems appear to be systematic, since the decision regarding entry into higher secondary education is made at early age and is left, in most cases, with the parents, who rely on their own educational trajectory. Outside of the school environment, differences in social capital inheritance explain educational immobility. With the use of the German Socio-Economic Panel survey from 1984 to 2014, various analyses about the relation between social capital and educational success are performed. Social capital, which is helpful for educational and social success, clearly depends on the educational family background. This indirect link has been disregarded in past contributions. Alternative forms of schooling, such as comprehensive and all-day education, as well as a delay of the decision regarding entry into higher education, could help improving unequal social capital inheritance.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Open access funding provided by Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU).
Keywords: educational inheritance, two-stage least-squares, ordered logistic Regression, social mobility, social capital
Classification Codes: JEL I24, L14, Z13
Divisions: Departments > Sozioökonomie > Sozialpolitik > Demographie > Wittgenstein Centre
Version of the Document: Published
Depositing User: Gertraud Novotny
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2018 13:50
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2020 14:20
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