Status Attainment of Young Workers in 21 Countries: The influence of skill formation and economic coordination on the effectiveness of educational credentials and worker skills

Vogtenhuber, Stefan and Hartl, Jakob (February 2017) Status Attainment of Young Workers in 21 Countries: The influence of skill formation and economic coordination on the effectiveness of educational credentials and worker skills. IHS Sociological Series 117, 25 p.

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Abstract or Table of Contents

This paper develops a status attainment model that brings in the cross-country perspective in the status attainment process. We amend the conventional model of individual status attainment by splitting educational achievement into educational credentials and measured skills and by including information on motivation for further learning. Within a two-level path-model framework social status attainment processes at the individual- and country-level are explained by analyzing mediating and moderating variables simultaneously. Overall, family background effects on educational achievement both in terms of formal attainment levels and worker skills are strong, but socio-economic outcomes are largely determined by educational certificates while skills make a difference only to a minor extent. As the direct family effect on status attainment is small, it follows that the influence of families is mainly mediated by the acquisition of educational credentials and not by worker skills. Our results further show that individual level path dependencies vary across countries. This variation is associated with differentiation in a country’s skill formation system in terms of vocational specialization and the degree of economic coordination measured via the extent of collective bargaining coordination. Vocational specialization relates to higher skills levels of young workers and higher parental effects both on worker skills and status, as well as higher effects of credentials and learning motivation on social status. Higher levels of bargaining coordination correspond to higher worker skills as well, but unlike vocational education, a higher degree of coordination is associated with lower family effects on educational outcomes and social status.

Item Type: IHS Series
Keywords: Status attainment; educational credentials; worker skills; education systems; skill formation; labor market coordination
Funders: Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Anniversary Fund, project number: 16045
Research Groups: in_Equality and Education
Status: Published
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2017 09:35
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2017 15:58
URI: http://irihs.ihs.ac.at/id/eprint/4206

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