Rent-based accounts of inequality argue that institutionalized barriers to the access to labour market positions create artificial restrictions on the supply of labour and, in turn, generate wages for workers in protected positions in excess of the wages they would receive in a competitive labour market. In this article, we extend this argument to the comparative context, and elaborate a rent-based explanation of between-occupation wage inequality in Germany and the United Kingdom. We test it with new and unique data on four institutionalized sources of closure (educational credentialing, licensure, unionization, and apprenticeships), matched to newly constructed measures of occupational skills and to national labour force survey data. We show that in both countries, between-occupation wage inequality is substantial, and much of it can be traced to variations across occupations in closure and to the positive association between closure and wages. We also show that the prevalence and the payoff to each of the four closure institutions differ across the two countries: Specifically, vocational credentialing and unionization have a particularly high payoff in Germany, while tertiary credentialing and licensure have a particularly high payoff in the United Kingdom. These results have important implications for understanding between-occupation wage inequality and cross-national differences in aggregate levels of wage inequality.
China's rural-to-urban migration has affected 12.6 million school-age rural children who have migrated with their parents and another 22 million who have been left behind by their migrant parents. Not enough is known, either theoretically or empirically, about the causal impact of migration on the well-being of this large number of Chinese children affected by migration. Propensity score matching methods are applied to estimate the effects of migration in children 10-15 years old from a 2010 national survey (N = 2,417). Children's migration has significant positive effects on their objective well-being but no negative effects on their subjective well-being. There is little difference between the left-behind and non-migrant children across multiple life domains. The Rosenbaum bounds tests indicate that the causal effects of child migration are sensitive to hidden bias for certain outcomes, but not for others.
The German parental leave reform of 2007 created a new incentive for men to take parental leave by introducing 'daddy months': 2 months of well-remunerated leave exclusively reserved for fathers. Against the backdrop of the reform, this study examines how fathers' uptake of parental leave affects the amount of time they spend on paid work, housework, and childcare after the leave has ended. It investigates whether the effect of parental leave differs by the length of leave taken and by whether fathers took the leave alone or at the same time as their partners. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel from 2006 to 2012 and Families in Germany from 2010 to 2012, the results of fixed-effects regressions indicate that fathers who took parental leave subsequently reallocated their time from work to home. They reduced their working hours and increased their involvement in childcare even after short and joint periods of parental leave. But only those who took > 2 months of leave or were on leave while their partner was working subsequently increased their participation in housework. Hence, fathers increased their involvement in childcare already after short leaves, whereas enhanced gender equality in couples' division of labour especially emerged after longer or solo leaves.
This study explores whether the diffusion of gender-equitable attitudes towards female employment is associated with fertility. We argue that any positive effect on fertility requires not only high levels of gender-equitable attitudes overall, but also attitude convergence between men and women. We analyse 27 countries using data from the World Values Surveys and European Values Studies. We find support for a U-shaped relationship between changes in gender role attitudes and fertility: an initial drop in fertility is observed as countries move from a traditional to a more gender-symmetric model. Beyond a certain threshold, additional increases in gender egalitarianism become positively associated with fertility. This curvi-linear relationship is moderated by the difference in attitudes between men and women: when there is more agreement, changes are more rapid and the effect of gender egalitarian attitudes on fertility strengthens.
The increasing popularity of radical right parties in Western Europe has received widespread attention. Despite a rather large literature on parties with explicitly anti-immigrant platforms, there is surprisingly little consensus about the underlying political ideology of this party family and its supporters. Particularly lacking is cross-national research that maps party positions in two-dimensional political space over time. Using Manifesto Project Data (1970-2010), we analyse election platforms of parties the literature has identified as radical right and show that they have qualitatively changed between 1970 and 2010. Current parties differ fundamentally from their predecessors in that nationalist claims are paramount. We use the European Social Survey (2002-2010) to confirm that voters' attitudes are consistent with contemporary parties' platforms. Our results point to a coherent political ideology, which may partially explain these parties' recent electoral successes. Based on our combined analyses, we conclude that contemporary anti-immigrant parties constitute a new and distinct party family, which we term neo-nationalist.
Most people are unable to accurately estimate the number of immigrants in their country. Nonetheless, it has been argued that the size of the immigrant population would affect people’s immigration attitudes. Part of the effect of immigration on attitudes occurs not so much because of real immigration figures, but rather because of media reporting about immigration. In this study, negative attitudes towards immigration are explained by investigating the impact of the salience and the tone of immigration topics in the news media vis-à-vis the impact of immigration statistics. The cases of Denmark and the Netherlands are analysed for a period from 2003 to 2010, using a multilevel design. Overall, real-world immigration numbers have little impact. The tone of news coverage has an effect in the Netherlands: a positive tone reduces negativity towards immigration, while a negative tone does not increase negativity. We cautiously conclude that the longevity of the issue’s salience has a moderating effect.
In this article, we provide a long-term East-West comparison of partnered women's employment from the 1940s into the first decade of the new millennium in Germany, and focus on the nexus of gainful employment and family-related responsibilities in women's lives. Based on an analysis of the institutionally and culturally shaped opportunity structures that define the conditions for partnered women's employment, we identify distinct periods of support and derive hypotheses on cohort-specific developments. The empirical analysis largely confirms that a divergence between East and West German women's employment patterns started as early as in the 1950s. East-West differences in labour market participation were strongest among women born around 1940. For successive cohorts of East and West German women, the employment patterns converged. Whereas the labour market participation of West German women gradually increased over time, the employment pattern of East German women adjusted to the West German pattern after unification, resulting in an increase of part-time employment and non-employment, in particular among mothers. The article concludes by discussing implications of these trends for the future of the male breadwinner model.
While previous studies unequivocally show that education and attitudes towards immigrants correlate, the underlying mechanisms remain debated. The liberalization effect claims that education fosters egalitarian values and analytic skills, which translate into positive attitudes. Additionally, the higher educated are less likely to face economic competition from immigrants. However, research on socialization shows that political attitudes develop early in life. Thus, there may be self-selection into education. While there is reason to expect both education and selection effects, previous work has relied exclusively on cross-sectional analyses, thus confounding the two mechanisms. Drawing on the Swiss Household Panel, we find that virtually all variation in education disappears when only within-individual variance is modelled. While we find strong differences in attitudes towards immigrants between individuals, we observe little change in attitudes as individuals pass through education. Furthermore, our findings show that when entering the labour market, higher educated individuals also become more likely to oppose immigrants. This suggests that differences between educational groups are mostly due to selection effects, and not to the alleged liberalizing effect of education. We conclude that future research on attitudes towards immigrants would greatly benefit from addressing selection into education.
This article aims to improve our understanding about why and how individuals' signals of cognitive and noncognitive skills influence labour market outcomes. We study how employers use skills signals when hiring labour market entrants. These demand-side microprocesses are investigated at the apprenticeship market in Germany, which functions as the main entry labour market below tertiary-level education. Qualitative studies and personnel psychology research suggest multistage hiring processes. We concentrate on the first stage at which employers narrow the applicant pools based on written application documents. Their information is limited to applicants' school reports-including their grades (as signals of cognitive skills) and teachers' evaluations of their behaviours (as signals of noncognitive skills). We conducted two linked field experiments, applying the correspondence test method. Analysing the unbiased employers' responses to randomly varied fictitious applicant profiles enables us to discover whether, and if so how, applicants' skills signals are used as 'screens' at the first selection stage. The experiments reveal that both skills signals are important selection criteria, but employers prefer noncognitive skills signals. Moreover, the findings confirm that firms use thresholds (cut-off values) for selection criteria instead of linear rankings.
Building on existing theories of fertility dynamics, this article provides a theoretical perspective that connects two recent strands of the literature. The first concerns gender equity and equality where institutions play a critical role. The second is that subjective well-being matters in explaining childbearing behaviour (and vice versa). Our key argument is that subjective well-being is a direct function of the discrepancy between aspirations and attainment, here interpreted as a potential mismatch between gender equity and equality. As aspirations change over time, discrepancy arises in so far institutions are unable to follow suit with new emerging preferences. This lowers subjective well-being associated with childbearing, and hence leads to lower levels of fertility. Our empirical analysis is based on the European Social Survey, and although taking an indirect approach, we provide support for this idea. Fertility and happiness are higher where institutions appear to have adapted to women's new preferences and aspirations, which is further supported by strong gender differences in happiness associated with parenthood. Fathers are always happier than non-fathers-no matter the circumstances of the country where they reside-whereas mothers are happier only when relevant institutions are in place.
This article examines whether privileged social groups have managed to monopolize access to sought-after higher education (HE) programmes in a Scandinavian, universalist welfare state (Denmark) during a period of massive educational expansion (1984-2010). I apply an effectively maintained inequality (EMI) framework in which I (i) explicitly control for periods of educational expansion, (ii) disaggregate qualitatively different HE programmes, and (iii) profit from a novel way of constructing social origin, using relative measures of parental education and income. I find that probabilities of attending HE increases for almost all groups and types of programmes, and that the increase primarily occurs in periods of cohort-adjusted HE expansion. Measured by participation ratio (i.e. relative risk), neither sons nor daughters from culturally privileged backgrounds have maintained their advantage from 1984 to 2010 in access to HE in general. However, breaking down HE into four types of university programmes supports the EMI thesis as it is operationalized in this article. So, while inequality in access to HE has been reduced overall through the expansion of the HE system, this has only been achieved by channelling students of lower-educated parents to less-prestigious programmes.
Using data on successive birth cohorts from the German Life History Study and the National Educational Panel Study, we analyse how the process of educational attainment of men and women from different educational origins has changed in the long run. Our results show that educational inequality is strongly declining at the first transition to upper secondary education across cohorts. However, it is constant or even slightly increasing at the transition to the traditional university. In addition, there are no origin-specific differences in the transition to university of applied science graduation. In other words, there is no unidirectional trend of change in inequalities of educational opportunities across all transitions.
This article investigates how the negative impact of parental separation on children's educational outcomes varies with social origin. In particular, I test the compensatory class hypothesis which postulates that higher class families compensate the negative effects of disadvantageous life events, such as parental separation. I apply family-fixed effects models to control for unmeasured confounding characteristics of families and use data on siblings from Germany. I do find indication of substantial negative effects of parental separation on the probability of attending the upper track in secondary school (Gymnasium) and on school grades in German and Mathematics. These negative consequences of parental separation are limited to children with low-educated parents. Children in families with highly educated parents are not negatively affected by their parents' separation in their educational outcomes. This finding supports the compensatory class hypothesis and demonstrates that research on the consequences of parental separation has to take into account the heterogeneity of separation effects.
Generalized trust is praised by many researchers as the foundation of functioning social systems. An ongoing debate concerns the question whether and to what extent experiences impact individuals' generalized trust, as measured with the standard trust survey question. So far, reliable empirical evidence regarding the causal effect of experiences on generalized trust is scarce. Studies either do not directly measure the quality of experiences or use designs that are prone to selection bias. In the present study, we investigate a unique panel data set from Switzerland that contains measures of trust and measures of negative experiences, i.e. victimization. We use change score analysis and 'genetic matching' to investigate the causal effect of victimization on generalized trust and find no substantially strong effect that is consistent across panel data waves.
We study the biases that arise in estimates of social inequalities in children's cognitive ability test scores due to (i) children's misreporting of socio-economic origin and (ii) parents' nonresponse. Unlike most previous studies, we are able to draw on linked register data with high reliability and almost no missingness and thereby jointly consider the impact of measurement error and nonresponse. Using data on 14-year-olds (n = 18,716) from a new survey conducted in England, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden (Children of Immigrants Longitudinal Survey in Four European Countries), we find that child reports on parental occupation are well aligned with parents' reports in all countries, but reports on parental education less so. This leads to underestimation of socio-economic disparities when child reports of education are used, but not occupation. Selective nonresponse among parents turns out to be a real problem, resulting in similar underestimation. We also investigate conditional estimates of immigrant-non-immigrant disparities, which are surprisingly little affected by measurement error or nonresponse in socio-economic control variables. We conclude that school-based surveys on teenagers are well advised to include questions on parental occupation, while the costs for carrying out parental questionnaires may outweigh the gains.
An oft-heard concern about the sustainability of the welfare state is that generous social welfare provisions serve as an important pull factor in immigrants’ consideration of their preferred country of destination. With their accumulated social risks, immigrants are averagely more likely to claim welfare benefits, suggesting that generous provisions reinforce migration flows, and that migrants benefit more from welfare than they contribute to it. Yet, little is known about what immigrants actually think about government support to ensure a reasonable standard of living. To study immigrants’ ideas about the welfare state, we analyse the 2008 ‘Welfare Attitudes’ module of the European Social Survey. Our analysis shows that, although immigrants have somewhat stronger pro-welfare opinions than non-immigrants, these are largely explained by their more disadvantaged position in society and their more depressed opinions of the social malaise taking place in their receptive society. Furthermore, much to our surprise, we find that immigrants’ views on welfare closely follow those of the non-migrant population of the country they are living in, suggesting strong social integration at the opinion level.
While there is ample evidence that income inequalities influence individuals' health status, the mechanisms behind this income inequality-health correlation are only partially understood. This study shows that inequalities evaluated on the basis of individual perceptions of injustice are a driving force behind this connection. Two main questions are addressed: Does perceiving one's earnings as unfair affect physical health? Do such perceptions contribute to structural health inequalities? The hypotheses presented are based on the effort-reward imbalance model, according to which experiencing injustice causes stress, which can have a negative effect on individual health. Analyses of large-scale longitudinal data from the German Socio-Economic Panel of the years 2005-2010 show that female employees who perceive their earnings as unjustly low display significantly worse physical health, and that if employees perceive their earnings to be unjust for an extended period, this contributes to the deterioration of individual physical health in male and female employees. Employees from lower social classes, in particular unskilled blue-collar workers, more frequently perceive their earnings to be unjust. Experience of unjust earnings mediates the relationship between social class and physical health, if to a limited extent. Our conclusion is that differential exposure to unjust earnings contributes to the emergence of structural health inequalities.
The organization of times and places of work are key elements of working conditions, and define employees' possibilities for balancing work and other life spheres. This study analyses several aspects of temporal and spatial flexibility, and their associations with employees' work-life balance. This study separates four dimensions of temporal flexibility and one indicator of spatial flexibility. The dimensions of temporal flexibility are the number of hours worked, when the hours are worked, work-time intensity, and the degree of working-time autonomy. The workplace flexibility indicator is an index of work locations. Work-life balance is analysed with work-hour fit. The analyses were based on the fifth wave of the European Working Conditions Survey collected in 2010. We used data from 25 Member States of the European Union (n = 25,417). Based on the hierarchical cluster analysis, this study found various types of flexibility regimes in Europe. Country clusters show a clear effect on perceived work-life balance even after controlling for flexibility measurements at the individual level. This study contributes to the existing research in analysing several dimensions of temporal and spatial flexibility at the same time, as well as their associations to work-life balance.