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Research seminar with Katie Baird

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Welcome to our research seminar with Katie Baird, Associate Professor at University of Washington, Tacoma and visiting scholar at the Department of Economics, University of Bergen.

 

Title: Where Do Youth Follow in their Parents’ Footsteps?  The College-Going Decisions of Young Adults in 19 European Nations.

 

Abstract: 

This paper develops indicators of the intergenerational transmission of educational attainment across a range of European countries.  Specifically, it examines the college-going decisions of recent cohorts of 25 to 35 year olds in nineteen European countries by calculating the relative likelihood of their obtaining a college degree based on whether or not their parents are college-educated.  The study’s purpose is to quantify differences across Europe in the extent to which higher education is equally available to those with different socioeconomic markers, and to conduct a preliminary exploration into factors that might account for the cross-national variation observed.  The results indicate that over the last several decades, the intergenerational transmission of college status has weakened substantially. Assessing the college-going outcomes of the most recent cohort of college graduates (those born between 1971 and 1989), the paper finds noticeable variation across nations in the association between this generation’s college status and that of their parents.  The association is lowest in Scandinavian countries, and largest in select eastern and southern European nations.  Overall the analysis finds that parents’ college status is more closely related to their children’s college status in countries with lower college-enrollment rates, where higher education relies more on private rather than public dollars, and where the cognitive skills acquired during compulsory education are more closely related to youths’ socioeconomic background.