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Economic Liberalization and Intergenerational Mobility in Occupational Status

In: Comparative Sociology
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  • 1 Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge, Free School Lane, Cambridge CB2 3RQ, United Kingdomag900@cam.ac.uk
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One of the most important components of post-socialist transition has been economic liberalization. This article inquiries into how the latter is associated with intergenerational mobility in occupational status. Using European Values Studies (evs) data from the nationally representative samples for a large number of post-socialist societies, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (ebrd) index of economic liberalization, and multilevel mixed-effects linear regressions, I test the “meritocracy as functional imperative” perspective which implies that life chances depend on the efficiency considerations of liberalized economy. The derived results are robust to alternative model and variable specifications and suggest that economic liberalization explains cross-national differences in intergenerational status reproduction, and is better suited for macro-sociological models of mobility in occupational status than other conventional contextual explanations such as economic development and income inequality.

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