Stories | February 18, 2010

Like father, like son

A well-educated father boosts mens chances of earning more, official figures show.

But by how much? And where is it easiest to get ahead?

Having a well-educated father boosts a man's chance of getting a university degree and earning more, a new chart in The Economist shows.

Dad, I want to follow in your footsteps
Based on Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development - or OECD - data, the chart showed that in Ireland and Luxembourg, sons of fathers with a university degree (or the equivalent) are around 70 percentage points more likely to complete tertiary education than those whose fathers failed to graduate high school.
The table did not give the equivalent data for mothers and daughters.
A big earnings differential in the Britain and Portugal suggested other factors might also combine with education and social networks to "disproportionately reward those at the top". And such advantages might be passed down through the generations.

Climbing the ladder
The full OECD publication found it was easier to climb the social ladder and earn more than one's parents in the Nordic countries and Australia and Canada.  It raises concerns about family links and social mobility.

eZonomics team
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