Social inequalities in graduates’ occupational destinations

This project aimed to assess whether and to what extent social inequalities in early occupational destinations among graduates exist. In a comparative framework, we asked whether the effect of social origin on graduates’ occupational attainment differs between Germany and the UK, two distinct institutional settings in terms of education system and labour market structure. We asked further whether social inequalities in occupational careers can be explained by differences in the chosen field of study or HE institution, and whether this is the case more in one country than in the other.

A second goal was to assess changes in the association between graduates’ social origin and occupational attainment across different periods. More specifically, we evaluated whether the Great Recession in 2008/09 strengthened social inequalities in occupational outcomes. Various European and UK datasets on graduates were used.

For our analyses we use the REFLEX data and the HESA DHLE longitudinal data on graduates’ destinations.

Papers associated with this research:

Marita Jacob, Markus Klein, Cristina Iannelli – The Impact of Social Origin on Graduates’ Early Occupational Destinations—An Anglo-German Comparison – European Sociological Review, Oxford Journals, DOI: 10.1093/esr/jcv006

Klein, M. and Iannelli, C. (work in progress) Trends in social inequalities in the graduate labour market: Does family of origin matter more under economic downturns?

Policy relevance:
This comparative research is highly relevant for policy because it assesses the relevance of institutional conditions and macro-economic conditions for the graduate job markets to operate on a more or less meritocratic basis.
Cristina Iannelli

Image: Flickr – Andree Ludtke