Linked lives: intergenerational transmission of labour-market pathways between parent dyads and children

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Anna Brydsten Umeå University, Sweden

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Sara Kalucza Umeå University, Sweden

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While a vast number of studies confirm the transmission of labour-market disadvantages from one generation to the next, less is known about how parents’ interconnected labour-market pathways co-evolve and shape the opportunities and obstacles for their children’s future careers. This study uses a multidimensional view of intergenerational transmission by describing the most typical pathways of parents’ occupational careers and assesses how these patterns are associated with their children’s labour-market outcomes. Drawing on Swedish longitudinal register data, we used multichannel sequence analysis to follow a cohort of people born in 1985 (n = 72,409) and their parents across 26 years. We identified four parental earning models, differentiating between (1) dual earners with high wages, (2) dual earners with low-wage, (3) one-and-a-half-earners and (4) mother as the main breadwinner. Regression analysis shows strong intergenerational transmission among the most advantageous trajectories, with education as a key determinant for young people to become less dependent on family resources. This study stresses the importance of intra-couple perspectives in life course research to understand how inequalities are shaped and preserved across generations.

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Anna Brydsten Umeå University, Sweden

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Sara Kalucza Umeå University, Sweden

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