IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/qss/dqsswp/1315.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Who gets the Top Jobs? The role of family background and networks in recent graduates' access to high status professions

Author

Listed:
  • Lindsey Macmillan

    () (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London)

  • Claire Tyler

    () (Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London)

  • Anna Vignoles

    () (Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge)

Abstract

There is currently a debate in policy circles about access to "the upper echelons of power" (Sir John Major, ex Prime Minister, 2013). This research seeks to understand the relationship between family background and early access to top occupations. We find that privately educated graduates are a third more likely to enter into high status occupations than state educated graduates from similarly affluent families and neighbourhoods. A modest part of this difference is driven by educational attainment with a larger part of the story working through the university that the privately educated graduates attend. Staying on to do a Masters and higher degree is also a (smaller) part of the picture. We explore one potential mechanism which is often posited as a route in accessing top jobs: the role of networks. We find that although networks cannot account for the private school advantage, the use of networks provides an additional advantage over and above background and this varies by the type of top occupation that the graduate enters. A private school graduate who uses personal networks to enter into a top managerial position has a 1.5 percentage point advantage (on a baseline 6.1%) over a state school graduate who uses other ways to find their job.

Suggested Citation

  • Lindsey Macmillan & Claire Tyler & Anna Vignoles, 2013. "Who gets the Top Jobs? The role of family background and networks in recent graduates' access to high status professions," DoQSS Working Papers 13-15, Quantitative Social Science - UCL Social Research Institute, University College London.
  • Handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:1315
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://repec.ucl.ac.uk/REPEc/pdf/qsswp1315.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan, 2010. "Intergenerational Persistence in Income and Social Class: The Impact of Within-Group Inequality," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 10/230, The Centre for Market and Public Organisation, University of Bristol, UK.
    2. Holzer, Harry J, 1988. "Search Method Use by Unemployed Youth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(1), pages 1-20, January.
    3. Nicoletti Cheti & Ermisch John F, 2008. "Intergenerational Earnings Mobility: Changes across Cohorts in Britain," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 1-38, January.
    4. Steven Haider & Gary Solon, 2006. "Life-Cycle Variation in the Association between Current and Lifetime Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1308-1320, September.
    5. Miles Corak & Patrizio Piraino, 2011. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Employers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 37-68, January.
    6. Walker, Ian & Zhu, Yu, 2011. "Differences by degree: Evidence of the net financial rates of return to undergraduate study for England and Wales," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1177-1186.
    7. George J. Stigler, 1962. "Information in the Labor Market," NBER Chapters, in: Investment in Human Beings, pages 94-105, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Yannis M. Ioannides & Linda Datcher Loury, 2004. "Job Information Networks, Neighborhood Effects, and Inequality," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1056-1093, December.
    9. Bingley, Paul & Corak, Miles & Westergård-Nielsen, Niels C., 2011. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Employers in Canada and Denmark," IZA Discussion Papers 5593, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Paul Gregg & Jan. O. Jonsson & Lindsey Macmillan & Carina Mood, 2013. "Understanding income mobility: the role of education for intergenerational income persistence in the US, UK and Sweden," DoQSS Working Papers 13-12, Quantitative Social Science - UCL Social Research Institute, University College London.
    11. Bratti, Massimiliano & Naylor, Robin & Smith, Jeremy, 2005. "Variations in the Wage Returns to a First Degree: Evidence from the British Cohort Study 1970," IZA Discussion Papers 1631, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Chevalier, Arnaud, 2011. "Subject choice and earnings of UK graduates," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1187-1201.
    13. Paul Gregg & Lindsey Macmillan, 2009. "Family Income and Education in the Next Generation: Exploring income gradients in education for current cohorts of youth," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 09/223, The Centre for Market and Public Organisation, University of Bristol, UK.
    14. Linda Datcher Loury, 2006. "Some Contacts Are More Equal than Others: Informal Networks, Job Tenure, and Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 299-318, April.
    15. Calvo-Armengol, Antoni & Jackson, Matthew O., 2007. "Networks in labor markets: Wage and employment dynamics and inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 27-46, January.
    16. Erzsebet Bukodi & Shirley Dex & John Goldthorpe, 2011. "The conceptualisation and measurement of occupational hierarchies: a review, a proposal and some illustrative analyses," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 623-639, April.
    17. Calvo-Armengol, Antoni, 2004. "Job contact networks," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 191-206, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Emergence
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2014-08-29 17:57:16
    2. Elitist Britain: We need a better understanding of the routes through which those from more advantaged backgrounds access top careers
      by Blog Admin in British Politics and Policy at LSE on 2014-09-10 12:00:00

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Claire Crawford, 2014. "Socio-economic differences in university outcomes in the UK: drop-out, degree completion and degree class," IFS Working Papers W14/31, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    2. Raitano Michele & Vona Francesco, 2018. "From the Cradle to the Grave: The Influence of Family Background on the Career Path of Italian Men," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 80(6), pages 1062-1088, December.
    3. Claire Crawford & Anna Vignoles, 2014. "Heterogeneity in graduate earnings by socio-economic background," IFS Working Papers W14/30, Institute for Fiscal Studies.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Jo Blanden & Lindsey Macmillan, 2014. "Education and Intergenerational Mobility: Help or Hindrance?," DoQSS Working Papers 14-01, Quantitative Social Science - UCL Social Research Institute, University College London.
    2. Marcenaro Gutierrez, Oscar & Micklewright, John & Vignoles, Anna, 2014. "Social Mobility and the Importance of Networks: Evidence for Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 8380, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Moreno Galbis, Eva & Wolff, Francois-Charles & Herault, Arnaud, 2020. "How helpful are social networks in finding a job along the economic cycle? Evidence from immigrants in France," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 12-32.
    4. Miles Corak & Patrizio Piraino, 2011. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Employers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 37-68, January.
    5. Bingley, Paul & Corak, Miles & Westergård-Nielsen, Niels C., 2011. "The Intergenerational Transmission of Employers in Canada and Denmark," IZA Discussion Papers 5593, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Francis Kramarz & Oskar Nordström Skans, 2014. "When Strong Ties are Strong: Networks and Youth Labour Market Entry," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(3), pages 1164-1200.
    7. repec:cep:sticas:/179 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Christian Dustmann & Albrecht Glitz & Uta Schönberg & Herbert Brücker, 2016. "Referral-based Job Search Networks," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 83(2), pages 514-546.
    9. Michele Raitano & Francesco Vona, 2015. "Measuring the link between intergenerational occupational mobility and earnings: evidence from eight European countries," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 13(1), pages 83-102, March.
    10. Buhai, Sebastian & van der Leij, Marco, 2006. "A Social Network Analysis of Occupational Segregation," Working Papers 06-11, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
    11. Stupnytska, Yuliia & Zaharieva, Anna, 2015. "Explaining U-shape of the referral hiring pattern in a search model with heterogeneous workers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 211-233.
    12. Jo Blanden & Lindsey Macmillan, 2014. "Education and Intergenerational Mobility: Help or Hindrance?," CASE Papers case179, Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion, LSE.
    13. Federico Cingano & Alfonso Rosolia, 2012. "People I Know: Job Search and Social Networks," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(2), pages 291-332.
    14. María Cervini-Plá, 2015. "Intergenerational Earnings and Income Mobility in Spain," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 61(4), pages 812-828, December.
    15. Andrea Morescalchi, 2021. "A new career in a new town. Job search methods and regional mobility of unemployed workers," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 20(2), pages 223-272, May.
    16. Fontaine, François, 2008. "Why are similar workers paid differently? the role of social networks," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 3960-3977, December.
    17. Andrea Morescalchi, 2016. "A new career in a new town. Job search methods and regional mobility of unemployed workers," ERSA conference papers ersa16p307, European Regional Science Association.
    18. Zaharieva, Anna, 2013. "Social welfare and wage inequality in search equilibrium with personal contacts," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 107-121.
    19. Rainer Eppel & Helmut Mahringer & Andrea Weber, 2014. "Job Search Behaviour and Job Search Success of the Unemployed," WIFO Working Papers 471, WIFO.
    20. Andrea Morescalchi, 0. "A new career in a new town. Job search methods and regional mobility of unemployed workers," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 0, pages 1-50.
    21. Xin, Guangyi, 2017. "Social Interaction and Labour Market Outcomes," MPRA Paper 80976, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    intergenerational mobility; social mobility; networks;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:1315. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dr Neus Bover Fonts). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dqioeuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.