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Social Mobility and Equality of Opportunity Geary Lecture Spring 2010


  • Richard Breen

    (Yale University, USA)


Ladies and gentlemen, director, colleagues and friends: it is a great honour and a pleasure to be asked to deliver this year’s Geary lecture, coming, as it does, on the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI). Over the years many eminent economists and sociologists have given the Geary lecture, but I believe that I am one of the few who knew Roy Geary personally because we were colleagues here during the last few years of his life. Roy Geary was the most eminent Irish statistician of the 20th century. But during the short time in which I knew him he was less concerned with statistical problems and more with the social problems of contemporary Ireland. So I hope that the topic of my lecture is one that Roy would have found both intellectually interesting and of some practical relevance. For a large part of my professional life I have worked on social mobility and so it will come as no surprise that this is the topic of my talk. Recently, governments and political parties have discovered, or rediscovered, social mobility and in some cases they have made its promotion a central theme in

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Breen, 2010. "Social Mobility and Equality of Opportunity Geary Lecture Spring 2010," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 41(4), pages 413-428.
  • Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:41:y:2010:i:4:p:413-428

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jantti, Markus & Bratsberg, Bernt & Roed, Knut & Raaum, Oddbjorn & Naylor, Robin & Osterbacka, Eva & Bjorklund, Anders & Eriksson, Tor, 2005. "American exceptionalism in a new light: a comparison of intergenerational earnings mobility in the Nordic countries, the United Kingdom and the United States," Economic Research Papers 269752, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mehtabul Azam & Vipul Bhatt, 2015. "Like Father, Like Son? Intergenerational Educational Mobility in India," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 52(6), pages 1929-1959, December.

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