Educational aspirations and attitudes over the business cycle

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ISER Working Paper Series


Tina Rampino and Mark P. Taylor

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We use data from the youth component of the British Household Panel Survey to examine how educational attitudes and aspirations among 11-15 year olds vary across the business cycle. We find that the impact of the local unemployment rate on children's attitudes and aspirations varies significantly with parental education level and parental attitudes to education – children from highly educated families react more positively to low labour demand those from less educated families. Therefore the aspirations of children from low socioeconomic status backgrounds are more adversely affected by recessions than those from higher status backgrounds, representing a barrier to social mobility for a generation.


Young People, Education, Households and Social Attitudes



Request made by and approved for House of Commons and House of Lords libraries to store digital version of this for non-commerical use. Feb.2013

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