Transmitting Social Advantages to the Next Generation: Focusing on Educational Advantages in the Multigenerational Perspective
The main data I have analyzed for this study are from the 2015 National Survey of Social Stratification and Social Mobility (hereafter, 2015 SSM survey). The survey is nationally represented and cross-sectional. It has been conducted every ten years since 1955, and this is the seventh one. The respondents of the 2015 SSM survey are aged between 20 and 79, and the sample size of the survey is 7,817. The survey provides information on the educational attainment of the respondents as well as of their parents and their children.
We obtained two important findings based on our primary analyses. First, the coefficient of grandparents’ education is smaller for children of the younger cohort than for that of the older one. Second, the effect of grandparents’ education is indirect on children from the younger cohort. The gross effect of grandparents’ education has been statistically significant overall, but it becomes indirect through parents’ education on children of the younger cohort.
Thus, the mechanism in multigenerational relationships has changed over time, and the critical point in multigenerational relations appears to have been during the mid-1970s. This is when the total fertility rate fell below the replacement rate in Japan. I will further discuss whether the pattern of multigenerational relations in transmitting social advantage in Japan is different from that of other societies.