Transmitting Social Advantages to the Next Generation: Focusing on Educational Advantages in the Multigenerational Perspective

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 17:45
Oral Presentation
Sawako SHIRAHASE, University of Tokyo, Japan
The pattern of intergenerational mobility has been at the center of social stratification studies, and recently active discussions have been held about the importance of both parent-child and grandchild-grandparent relations in examining social stratification (Mare 2011; Mare and Maralani 2006; Song and Mare 2015; Lawrence and Breen 2016). I will examine the impact of the educational attainment of grandparents and parents on the probability of children from those families receiving higher education in Japan.

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.