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Social Mobility Abstracts

Books on Social Mobility, Horizontal Social MobilityVertical Social Mobility, Social Mobility

Social Mobility and Political Transitions Bahar Leventolu - Political Science from the University of Rochester - Journal of Theoretical Politics, Vol. 17, No. 4, 465-496 (2005).

I address the role of social mobility in political transitions. I develop a political economy model of regime transitions that incorporates social mobility as a key feature of the economy capturing the political attitudes toward redistribution.

I show that social mobility facilitates democratization by reducing the conflict over redistribution between the rich and the poor. Furthermore, it facilitates democratic consolidation by reducing the likelihood of a coup under democracy. On the other hand, social mobility helps to keep an authoritarian regime stable by reducing the likelihood of mass movements against political elites.

Social Mobility and Modernization: A Journal of Interdisciplinary History Reader. Edited by Robert I. Rotberg. Cambridge, Mass., London: The MIT Press.
Modern social history is looking back to thirty years of rising activity. It changed dramatically during this period and was definitely broadened by the cultural history of the 1980's and 1990's. In recent years the debate on social history calmed down. This is a good moment to look back and to reflect on what has been reached and what has been missed.

The volume by Robert I. Rotberg illustrates the merits. The dozen articles of the volume can be seen as a tour d'horizon of thirty years of social history of the American study of social history covering primarily Europe. They are a selection of the best articles of the Journal of Interdisciplinary History by Robert I. Rotberg, the co-editor of the journal. They treat various standard themes of social history such as social mobility, class structure, industrialization industrialization.

Alcohol Consumption Behaviours and Social Mobility in Men and Women of the Midspan Family Study - Carole L. Hart, George Davey Smith, Mark N. Upton and Graham C. M. Watt - Alcohol and Alcoholism 2009 44(3):332-336.
Abstract: Aims: The aim of this study was to investigate relationships between alcohol consumption and social mobility in a cohort study in Scotland. Methods: 1040 sons and 1298 daughters aged 30–59 from 1477 families reported their alcohol consumption from which was derived: weekly units (1 UK unit being 8 g ethanol), exceeding daily or weekly limits, binge drinking and consuming alcohol on 5+ days per week. Own and father's social class were available enabling social mobility to be investigated. Results: More downwardly mobile men exceeded the weekly limit, the daily limit, were defined as binge drinkers and drank the most units per week of the four social mobility groups. Stable non-manual women were more likely to consume alcohol on 5+ days a week but very few were binge drinkers. Stable non-manual and upwardly mobile men and women were more likely to drink wine, and downwardly mobile men to drink beer. Conclusions: Downward mobility was associated with less favourable alcohol behaviours, especially in men. Wine consumption was more closely related to the social mobility groups than beer and spirits consumption. Drinking patterns could both influence and be influenced by social mobility.

SOCIAL MOBILITY WITHIN AND ACROSS GENERATIONS IN BRITAIN SINCE 1851 JASON LONG - Department of Economics, Colby College and Department of Economics and Nuffield College, University of Oxford
In this paper, I use a rich new data source to provide new measures of social mobility in England and Wales from 1851 to 1901. Existing measures of intergenerational mobility derived from marriage registries fail to control for life-cycle differences between father and son. Correcting for this reveals significantly more mobility across generations than previous estimates: half of all sons end up in a different occupational class than their father, and the rate of upward mobility is 40 percent greater than the rate of downward mobility. The data also allow the rate of intragenerational mobility to be measured for the first time. It is slightly lower than mobility across generations, but still substantial; 44 percent of males in their twenties changed occupational class over a thirty-year period. International and intertemporal comparisons show that mobility in Britain was much lower than in the U.S., but that unlike in the U.S., it trended upward from 1851 to 1970. In assessing the level of equality or “fairness” in a society, it is natural to look first at the distribution of economic resources across the population. A high concentration of income or wealth indicates inequality in economic outcomes. It is as important to consider the rate of social mobility, which indicates the equality not of outcome but of opportunity.

Migration Enclaves, Schooling Choices and Social Mobility
Piacentini, Mario (2008)
Abstract: This paper investigates the presence of a network externality which might explain the persistence of low schooling achievements among internal migrants. A simple analytical framework is presented to show how an initial human capital disparity between migrants and non migrants can translate into persistent skill inequality if origin shapes the composition of social networks. We test empirically whether young migrants?schooling decisions are affected by the presence of covillagers at destination, using data on life-time histories of migration and education choices from a rural region of Thailand. Different modelling approaches are used to account for the self-selection of young migrants, for potential endogeneity of the network size, and for unobserved heterogeneity in individual preferences. The size of the migrant network is found to negatively affect the propensity of young migrants to pursue schooling while in the city. This fi?nding suggests that policies seeking to minimising strati?cation in enclaves might have a socially multiplied impact on schooling participation, and, ultimately, affect the socio-economic mobility of the rural born.

The impact of social mobility and within-family learning on voter preferences: Evidence from a sample of twins
Harry Krashinsky
Centre for Industrial Relations, University of Toronto
Journal of Public Economics Volume 91, Issues 1-2, February 2007, Pages 97-116
Abstract: Income-maximizing consumers should vote in predictable ways: support for liberal, redistributive governments should fall as income rises. But weak empirical evidence for these voting patterns might suggest that voters are influenced by alternative factors, such as perceptions of social mobility from within-family learning. To examine these effects, this paper uses a data set of twins and a recently-developed econometric approach to show that within-family learning and family-specific effects are important determinants of voting preferences and preferences for redistribution.

Social Mobility and the Demand for Redistribution: The POUM Hypothesis
Roland Benabou, Efe A. Ok
Journal of Economics, 2001, v116(2,May), 447-487.
Abstract: Even relatively poor people oppose high rates of redistribution because of the anticipation that they or their children may move up the income ladder. This hypothesis commonly advanced as an explanation of why most democracies do not engage in large-scale expropriation and highly progressive redistribution. But is it compatible with everyone -- especially the poor -- holding rational expectations that not everyone can simultaneously expect to end up richer than average? This paper establishes the formal basis for the POUM hypothesis. There is a range of incomes below the mean where agents oppose lasting redistributions if (and, in a sense, only if) tomorrow's expected income is increasing and concave in today's income. The laissez-faire coalition is larger, the more concave the transition function and the longer the policy horizon. We illustrate the general analysis with an example (calibrated to the U.S.) where, in every period, 3/4 of families are poorer than average, yet a 2/3 majority has expected future incomes above the mean, and therefore desires low tax rates for all future generations. We also analyze empirical mobility matrices from the PSID and find that the POUM effect is indeed a significant feature of the data.

Kin Networks, Marriage, and Social Mobility in Late Imperial China
Cameron Campbell and James Lee
Social Science History 2008 32(2):175-214.
To assess claims about the role of the extended family in late imperial Chinese society, we examine the influence of kin network characteristics on marriage, reproduction, and attainment in Liaoning Province in Northeast China in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. We compare the influences on outcomes of the number and status of different types of kin as well as the seniority of the individual within each type of kin group. We find that the characteristics of kin outside the household did matter for individual outcomes but that patterns of effects were nuanced. While based on our results we concur that kin networks were important units of social and economic organization in late imperial China, we conclude that their role was complex.

Social Mobility and Intergroup Antagonism - A Simulation - Burton B. Silver
Department of Sociology and Social Psychology Florida Atlantic University
Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 17, No. 4, 605-623 (1973)
This paper reevaluates certain aspects of Dahrendorf's conflict theory in relation to social mobility. Specifically, the relationship between the degree of openness or closedness of the mobility opportunity structure of society and the degree of intergroup antagonism is examined. A game simulation is initiated whereby the researcher is able to create simulated situations of varying mobility opportunity and observe, by means of pre- and posttest questionnaires, the relative antagonism between groups within the situation and the participants' latent antagonism outside the simulated situation. The findings provide support for Dahrendorf's hypothesis, but also indicate that further dynamics are involved in the structure of mobility systems.

The Consequences of Immigration for Social Mobility: The Experience of Israel
Meir Yaish, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Haifa, Haifa 31905, Israel. E-mail:
European Sociological Review 18:449-471 (2002) © 2002 Oxford University Press
A commonly held view argues that immigration is a major force propelling social mobility. Since, by definition, the immigration process entails a separation of individuals from their communities, it is argued that a relatively weak association exists between the immigrant's social position (in their country of origin) and that of their offspring (in the ‘new’ society). It follows from this that in immigrant society (i) the overall association between parents' social position and that of their offspring is relatively weak; and (ii) as long as immigration continues this association is expected to weaken. This paper utilizes the 1974 and 1991 mobility surveys in Israel to study the association between immigration and social mobility and fluidity amongst Israeli Jews. Israel is amongst the few nations where immigrants made up the majority of its original population, and throughout the years, successive waves of (Jewish) immigrants have continued to enter the country. Israel, moreover, is a distinctive immigrant society in which such a process can be traced back to its roots by analysing high-quality data. This study finds that immigration to Israel may not have been the force that generated a high level of fluidity in the society. Nonetheless, immigration to Israel has changed the Israeli class structure and generated high rates of absolute mobility.

Family Patterns Of Social Mobility Through Higher Education In England In The 1930s
Journal of Social History, Summer, 2001 by Carol Dyhouse
I focus on patterns of social mobility as experienced differently by men and women graduates, both in their family situations and in their working lives. Further, in exploring the question of parental aspirations and support for higher education, I shall highlight some of the ways in which mothers and fathers sometimes nurtured different aspirations for their families, or contributed differently to the educatio nal careers of their children. Education has often been seen as having represented "a central element in the creation and reproduction of cultural capital" amongst the upwardly mobile, and an understanding of the role played by mothers in encouraging their children into higher education may be seen as going some way towards restoring visibility to women in patterns of social mobility in history.

Measuring Social Mobility as Unpredictability
Simon C. Parker & Jonathan Rougier, University of Durham - The London School of Economics and Political Science
ABSTRACT: By associating mobility with the unpredictability of social states, new measures of social mobility may be constructed. We propose a family of three state-by-state and aggregate (scalar) predictability measures. The first set of measures is based on the transition matrix. The second uses a sampling approach and permits statistical testing of the hypothesis of perfect mobility, providing a new justification for the use of the ?2 statistic. The third satisfies the demanding criterion of 'period consistency'. An empirical example demonstrates the usefulness of the new measures to complement existing ones in the literature.

Mobility strategies in Sâncrai - Hunedoara
Sociologie Româneasca, 2001, 1-4, 232-249.
Abstract - This article intends to describe the changes of migrational flows in the last forty years (from the perspective of the presence / absence, volume and direction) in Calan area in the Hunedoara county. In order to point out this dynamic we have depicted the phenomena of territorial mobility in five different moments, which correspond to some important structural changes (collectivization, industrialisation, land reform, the possibility to emigrate, growing unemployment rate). Our premise is that an efficient method for identifying the particularities of a region is to thoroughly analyse the specific of a community belonging to that area. As a consequence, the field research focused on Sâncrai village which orbits mainly around the town Calan (the community was chosen, according to the principle of exemplarity, for its significance in perceiving the area in its entire, real functionality). The collected data are being confronted and completed with quantitative information ( the quest was completed by the people of two other localities - the Calan town and the village Strei). -

IQ, Social Mobility and Growth
John Hassler and José V. Rodríguez Mora
Abstract: Intelligent agents may contribute to higher technological growth, if assigned appropriate positions in the economy. These positive effects on growth are unlikely to be internalized on a competitive labor market. The allocation of talent depends on the relative award the market assigns to intelligence versus other individual merits, which will also influence intergenerational social mobility. To illustrate this, we present an endogenous growth model where each agent can choose to be a worker or an entrepreneur. The reward to entrepreneurs is an endogenous function of the abilities they have been endowed by nature as well as of the amount of knowledge and other social assets they inherit from their parents. When growth is low, the equilibrium in the labor market implies that the reward to entrepreneurs depends more on social assets than on intelligence. This gives children of entrepreneurs a large ex-ante advantage over children of workers when working as entrepreneurs, which will cause low intergenerational social mobility and an ineffcient allocation of human resources and, consequently, low growth. On the other hand, there is also a stable equilibrium with high growth which mitigates the ineffciencies generated by the labor market and implies high intergenerational social mobility.

Social Mobility in Latin America - How is social mobility related to education policy in Latin America? A schooling gap regression analysis - Andersen, L.E. / Instituto de Investigaciones Socio-Económicas (IISEC), Universidad Católica Boliviana, La Paz, Bolivia - This paper proposes a new measure of social mobility, It is based on schooling gap regressions and uses the Fields decomposition to determine the importance of family background in explaining teenagers' schooling gaps. -

Poverty and social mobility in Lebanon: a few wild guesses - Inequality and poverty: a feature of the Shiite and the Sunni in Lebanon - Khoury El, M.; Panizza, U. / Workshop on the Analysis of Poverty and its Determinants in the MENA Region - The purpose of this paper is twofold. First of all, the paper aims at describing poverty in Lebanon and second the paper aims at measuring social mobility in Lebanon. Given that the only available household survey did not include data on income or expenditure, it measures poverty with a proxy for household wealth obtained by applying principal component analysis to a set of indicators of asset ownership.-

Conventions and Social Mobility in Bargaining Situations - in ELSE working papers from ESRC Centre on Economics Learning and Social Evolution - Giovanni Ponti and Robert M. Seymour - We find that, although any custom (when it operates alone) generates the same limiting class distribution as any other, these limiting distrbutions can be ranked with respect of their mobility. If players are allowed to change their custom when they find it unsatisfactory, then social mobility appears to be the key variable to predict the type of custom which will predominate in the long run even though, in general, no one custom is dominant. In particular, customs which promote social mobility appear to exhibit, in all the cases we have analysed, stronger stability properties. -

Politics Determine Occupational Opportunity and Social Mobility in East Asia
A study has found that the pattern of social fluidity in East Asian countries differ substantially from their Western counterparts, thus rendering the Western research models inadequate for the Asian context.
A paper in the International Journal of Japanese Sociology – published by Wiley-Blackwell finds that the pattern of social fluidity in East Asian countries differ substantially from their Western counterparts, thus rendering the Western research models inadequate for the Asian context.
Dr. Hirohisa Takenoshita, lead author of “Intergenerational Mobility in East Asian Countries: A Comparative Study of Japan, Korea and China” highlights the similarities and differences of intergenerational social mobility between Japan, Korea and China.
“Unlike in Western countries, there is much divergence within East Asian countries regarding whether or not the rapid industrialization results in a fluid social movement. This is due to the disparity in political regime, socio-economic environment and culture.” says Dr. Takenoshita.
He added, “These societies have come to accept the common pattern of flexibility among the self-employed – an attitude which appears to differ substantially from their European counterparts.”
There is common belief that relative mobility rates and patterns are substantially identical across industrialized countries. However, the time and speed of economic development coupled with the diverse political and socio-economic environment in the East Asian countries makes them different from the western models.
Even within East Asian countries, there are significant differences between capitalist and post-socialist societies. Unlike Japan and Korea, China has a higher level of social fluidity between white and blue collar workers, but at the same time, demonstrates a higher level of class inheritance, compared to Korea.
“Governments in East Asia need to take these differences into consideration when conducting research for policy issues aimed at reducing inequality of occupational opportunity” says Dr. Takenoshita.

Intergenerational Mobility for Women and Minorities in the United States
Journal article by Melissa S. Kearney; The Future of Children, Vol. 16, 2006

The Role of Higher Education in Social Mobility
Journal article by Robert Haveman, Timothy Smeeding; The Future of Children, Vol. 16, 2006

Early Childhood Development and Social Mobility
Journal article by W. Steven Barnett, Clive R. Belfield; The Future of Children, Vol. 16, 2006

Social Mobilization and Collective Violence: Vigilantes and Militias in the Lowlands of Plateau State, Central Nigeria
Journal article by Adam Higazi; Africa, Vol. 78, 2008

Making It in America: Social Mobility in the Immigrant Population
Journal article by George J. Borjas; The Future of Children, Vol. 16, 2006.