Richard Breen à l'OSC le 20/12/2013
- Séminaire OSC Richard Breen
Endogenous selection bias in studies of intergenerational mobility
Richard Breen, William Graham Sumner Professor of Sociology, Chair of the Sociology Department, Yale University (New-Haven, USA). Director of the Center for Research on Inequalities and the Life Course (CIQLE).
Vendredi 20 décembre 2013, de 09h30 à 11h en salle Annick Percheron (niv. -1), 98 rue de l'Université, 75007 Paris.
Endogenous selection bias is inherent in the design of studies of intergenerational mobility, though few if any sociologists and economists have recognized this. I ask how the results of studies of intergenerational mobility should be interpreted in the light of this problem. The central question is whether such studies give us any guidance as to how policy makers might intervene to change rates of intergenerational association between parents’ and adult children’s income, class, education, smoking status or whatever. I also ask what light results of these analyses can shed on differences between societies (or other groups, such as birth cohorts). I shall argue, and demonstrate, that the results of analyses of intergenerational mobility are very difficult to interpret except as purely descriptive. There is little or no basis for using them to make policy recommendations or to draw conclusions about differences in the processes of intergenerational transmission between societies or other groups.