Project leader


Funding source


Project Details

Start date: 2016-01-01  
End date: 2019-12-31


The current project seeks to analyze how firms and workplaces contribute to social mobility processes, i.e., to the advantages or disadvantages in labor market outcomes associated with an individual’s family background. Studies of social mobility in both sociology and economics tend to find that individuals’ labor market outcomes are strongly structured by family background: inequality in one generation is to a large extent transferred to the next generation. Firms and their workplaces is the nexus of labor market activities: it is where individuals work to produce services or commodities, it is where decisions about their hiring, promotion or lay off are taken, and to large and increasing extent also where wages are set and negotiated, especially for white collar workers, and it is where they gain experience and competencies to enhance their productivity and career.  Firms and workplaces are also foci for group dynamics, where actors may form alliances to lay claims on resources. The project will analyze effects of social origin composition at different organizational levels for recruitment, wage setting, and promotion of employees.
Examples of questions that will be studied are: is it beneficial to have service class origin in an organization with a high representation of this origin? Is it easier to get recruited or promoted? Does the same hold for working class origins? Are the effects different for composition in management vs. the core work force? The project will use Swedish register where employers and employees are linked, and where individuals can be linked to kin via the multigenerational register. The latter will be used together with censuses and the occupation register to measure individuals’ social origin. In order to identify composition effects, as opposed to selection bias, the project will rely on regression techniques with workplace and either individual or siblings fixed effects.