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All I have to do is dream? The role of aspirations in intergenerational mobility and well-being

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  • Warn N. Lekfuangfu

    (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, CReAM, and CEP)

  • Reto Odermatt

    (University of Basel)

Abstract

In this paper, we study the determinants and consequences of educational and occupational aspirations. Basing our enquiry on the British NCDS 1958 cohort data, we assess the importance of aspirations for social mobility above and beyond other established determinants. We document educational and occupational inequalities in young individuals’ aspirations, whereby parental aspirations are a strong predictor of children’s aspiration-levels. While we find a positive correlation between aspirations and later achievement, we also provide evidence for reduced well-being in adulthood if aspirations in adolescence were higher than actual achievements later in life.

Suggested Citation

  • Warn N. Lekfuangfu & Reto Odermatt, 2020. "All I have to do is dream? The role of aspirations in intergenerational mobility and well-being," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 2016, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:crm:wpaper:2016
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Aspirations; intergenerational mobility; life satisfaction; longitudinal study; CAMSIS score; UK;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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