Currently I lead an Ambizione research project financed by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF; The project is running from September 2019 until August 2023.

The Intergenerational Consequences of Demographic Behaviour: Estimating the Effects of Parental Union Formation and Fertility on Educational Mobility

The project estimates how demographic life course events, i.e. union formation and fertility, influence the intergenerational transmission of advantage. Leading social scientist have expressed concerns that recent demographic changes may result in lower levels of social mobility for children growing up today. As these claims largely refer to currently unobservable, future mobility outcomes of today’s children, they cannot be empirically tested. What can be empirically tested, however, are the proposed micro-level mechanisms underlying the relationship between demographic life course events and social mobility. Only if demographic life course events influence social mobility at the micro level, cohort changes in the occurrence of demographic events can result in cohort changes in social mobility. This research project tests whether and how much demographic events occurring over the parental life course, i.e. partnership formation (in particular, assortative mating) and fertility (whether there are children, parental ages in relation to their children, and number of children) affect social mobility. I focus on educational mobility as education is an important predictor of life chances in contemporary societies. The use of high-quality survey data from the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE), the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP), and Swiss Household Panel (SHP) makes this research project feasible.