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Entering the highest and the lowest incomes: Intergenerational determinants and early-adulthood transitions
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS). University of Helsinki, Finland; Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Germany.
Number of Authors: 3
2016 (English)In: Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, ISSN 0276-5624, E-ISSN 1878-5654, Vol. 44, 77-90 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Early-adulthood transitions contribute to socioeconomic attainment, and these early-adulthood life courses are partly influenced by family background. Less is known about how parental background and early-adulthood transitions jointly determine chances of entering the most and the least affluent positions in society. Using a longitudinal, register-based data set, this study examines the intergenerational and life-course mechanisms related to entry into income quintiles in Finland among those born between 1972 and 1975, with follow-up until their mid-30s. The specific focus is to test whether a more affluent origin compensates for less favorable transitions in early adulthood. Parental income predicts entry to the lowest and the highest incomes in adulthood. Those with high income parents are less likely to enter the middle income than those with low parental income, especially among men. The effects of lower educational achievement are compensated for by higher parental income among men, whereas women with higher education are more likely to benefit from their higher origin. High-income parents also protect from the harmful effects of long-term unemployment on adult income, although this compensatory effect disappears when long-term unemployment spells are very frequent. The positive parental income effect does not vary according to the age of having the first child, however, and does not apply to women with a more highly educated partner. These results indicate that the effects of early-adulthood transitions on income attainment differ across parental background groups, implying that those with higher origin have more beneficial resources. The mechanisms also vary by gender, possibly reflecting the strongly segregated labor markets in Finland.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 44, 77-90 p.
Keyword [en]
Income, Early adulthood, Parental background, Education, Unemployment, Family Formation
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-132505DOI: 10.1016/j.rssm.2016.02.004ISI: 000378191600008OAI: diva2:953008
Available from: 2016-08-16 Created: 2016-08-15 Last updated: 2016-08-16Bibliographically approved

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Martikainen, Pekka
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