Intergenerational Mobility in Switzerland. A Comparison of Methodological Approaches

Jann, Ben; Seiler, Simon (11 December 2013). Intergenerational Mobility in Switzerland. A Comparison of Methodological Approaches (Unpublished). In: Colloquium "Life Course and Inequality". Lausanne. 11.12.2013.

jann-seiler-lausanne-2013.pdf - Presentation
Available under License BORIS Standard License.

Download (1MB) | Preview

Despite the widespread interest in the topic and a vast international literature, only little is known about the development of intergenerational mobility in Switzerland. Based on a new harmonized database for Switzerland (comprising various surveys such as different waves of the ISSP, EVS, or the ESS), we provide a systematic account of changes in the link between social origin and destination over time (covering birth cohorts from 1940 through 1980). We analyze effects of parental education and class on own educational achievement and social class for both men and women, using a refined variant of the methodological approach proposed by Jann and Combet (2012). The approach is based on the concept of proportional reduction of error (PRE) and features a number of advantages over more traditional approaches. For example, it provides smooth estimates of changes in social mobility that have a clear interpretation and it can easily incorporate control variables and multiple dimensions of parental characteristics. To evaluate the validity of our approach, we employ the oft-used log-multiplicative layer effect model (Xie 1992) as a benchmark. Results indicate that our approach performs well and produces qualitatively similar findings as Xie’s model. For men, effects of social origin have been stable over the observed period. For women, however, social mobility significantly decreased among younger cohorts, mostly due to expanding female education and labor force participation. Jann, Ben, Benita Combet (2012). Zur Entwicklung der intergenerationalen Mobilität in der Schweiz (On the Development of Intergenerational Mobility in Switzerland). Swiss Journal of Sociology 38(2): 177-199. Xie, Yu (1992). The Log-Multiplicative Layer Effect Model for Comparing Mobility Tables. American Sociological Review 57(3): 380-395.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)


03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Sociology

UniBE Contributor:

Jann, Ben and Seiler, Simon


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology




Ben Jann

Date Deposited:

23 May 2014 16:51

Last Modified:

30 Mar 2015 09:05




Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback