Factors Affecting Positive Expectations of Social Mobility Opportunities: A Cross-Sectional Analysis

Winters, Brittany
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Positive perceptions of an individual’s or family’s social mobility opportunities can be influenced by a variety of factors. In this study, the point of interest is the positive perception of social mobility opportunities rather than the actual social mobility potential, which has been the focus of many other analyses. We measure the effects of both Institutional level country differences and Individual level characteristics to study their effects on the overall positivity levels within given years and countries. We find that Institutional level factors such as unemployment rates and GDP per capita are, unsurprisingly, influential factors that detract from and contribute to positivity, respectively. The most influential institutional variable is the presence of a recent major economic or political shock. On the individual level, we find that a person’s self-reported social position is the most influential factor for their positivity. While this study is not all-encompassing due to limited data, it does present some unexpected results that indicate the fruitfulness of further research into the subject.

Social Mobility., Perceptions.