Social background and education in occupational attainment in 20th century Italy
Title: Social background and education in occupational attainment in 20th century Italy
Series/Number: EUI SPS; 2014/03
The paper addresses four research questions concerning the intergenerational occupational association in Italy. First, is there a direct effect of social background on occupational outcomes over and above the effect of education? Second, has the direct effect declined over time? Third, does it vary depending on the level of education achieved and, more precisely, is it weaker among more educated individuals? Finally, have returns to education changed over time in contemporary Italy?These questions are addressed using the Indagine nazionale sulla mobilità sociale (INMS, 1985), the Indagine longitudinale sulle famiglie italiane (ILFI, 1997-2005) and the Indagine sui bilanci delle famiglie italiane (SHIW, 1992-2008). Many measures of success in the labour market (LM) are considered: a) ISEI score of the first job; b) ISEI score of the current job; c) net earnings of the current job. Moreover, we also look at class attainment in terms of d) the probability to enter the service class (EGP I-II) in the first job; e) the probability to enter the service class in the first or the current job; f) the probability to avoid the working class (EGP IIIb, V-VI-VIIab) in the first job; g) the probability to avoid the working class in the first and in the current job.The main findings of the paper are as follows. First, there is a considerable effect of social origins on LM success. When controlling for education, this effect decreases substantially, but it stills remains pronounced. Second, this direct effect is largely stable over time. Third, it shows some variation conditioned on the education, but the sign of the interaction depends on the specific measure of LM success: in the case of social class it is negative, while in the case of income it is positive. Finally, there is strong evidence of credential inflation, involving both secondary and tertiary titles.
Subject: Intergenerational status transmission; Intergenerational occupational association; Social Background; Returns to education
Type of Access: openAccess; openAccess