Contributed to the Fairness Policy Briefs Series
Like (grand)parent, like child? Multigenerational persistence of socio-economic status in the European Union
- New Eurobarometer data show that about 74% of individuals whose parents have completed higher education go on to complete higher education themselves, compared to only 28% of those with less highly educated parents.
- Individuals’ fortunes are also shaped by the socio-economic background of their grandparents. Persistence of educational attainment increases by around 9 percentage points when considering the influence of grandparents.
- Persistence of educational attainment across three generations is lowest in Northern Europe.
- Inequalities related to socio-economic background have largely remained persistent over time in Europe.
- The dynamics of persistence of educational attainment are similar for men and women.
Income inequality and support for redistribution across Europe
- About 360 million European adults (82%) consider that their governments should take measures to reduce income inequality.
- Public demand for government action is proportionate to the actual level of income equality in a country.
- The greater the income gap between the middle class and the rich, the more support there is for redistributive policies.
- Individuals who believe that society is basically meritocratic and that everyone enjoys equal opportunities are less likely to support redistributive policies.