Low Level of Equal Opportunities in Germany: Family Background Shapes Individual Economic Success

Schnitzlein, Daniel D.
May 2013
DIW Economic Bulletin;May2013, Vol. 3 Issue 5, p3
Academic Journal
For many years, securing equal life opportunities has been a normative goal shared by all democratic societies in the western world. Although, in principle, all citizens enjoy the same rights, in reality, individual life opportunities still vary according to family background which, in turn, shapes the prevailing pattern of social inequality. This is not a specifically German phenomenon. Based on a new methodology, the present findings demonstrate that, in Germany, family background has a significant impact on individual earnings, family income, hourly wages, and also educational success: 40 percent of individual earnings inequality can be explained by family background. In the case of educational achievement, this figure even exceeds 50 percent. By international standards, this places equality of opportunity in Germany at a similarly low level as in the US and significantly lower than in Denmark.


Related Articles

  • Logics of Educational Stratification: A Cross-National Map of Educational Inequality. Schlicht-Schmälzle, Raphaela; Ackermann, Kathrin // ISRN Education;2012, p1 

    The article discusses the importance of equality in educational opportunity and highlights different dimensions of educational inequality in modern capitalist nations. It informs that educational inequality is defined as the dependence of individuals’ educational achievement on their...

  • RACE MATTERS. Rosin, Hanna // New Republic;10/23/95, Vol. 213 Issue 17, p21 

    Highlights the undergraduate admissions policy of the University of California at Berkeley aimed at balancing its affirmative action program and the need to uphold academic achievement. Complaints of a father named Jerry Cook against the race-based admission policy of the university; Impact of...

  • How to mend affirmative action. Loury, Glenn C. // Public Interest;Spring97, Issue 127, p33 

    Describes a method and model in resolving social and economic inequality. Addressing the causes for the implementation of affirmative action programs; Discourse on the theories of economic and social inequality; Theories concerning the inequality in racial context; Suggested model of...

  • Ireland: Equality for all? Government proposals examined.  // Women's International Network News;Autumn98, Vol. 24 Issue 4, p71 

    Examines the proposals of the White Paper, Partnership for Equality published by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland. Proposed establishment of an Equality Commission; Affirmative action policies for fair employment.

  • The great divider. Kelly, Michael // New Republic;07/07/97, Vol. 217 Issue 1, p6 

    Argues against the sincerity of U.S. President Bill Clinton on the issue of race relations and equality regardless of skin color. Contradictions between the policies he is committed to and his promotion of the idea that people should not be judged by skin color; Opposition of the U.S. public to...

  • Is It Because I'm White? Rosenblum, Charlotte // Teen Ink;Apr2013, Vol. 24 Issue 8, p25 

    The article presents the author's views on whether affirmative action is necessary in current times.

  • TEACHER BELIEFS ABOUT EQUITY IN A MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE REFORM PROGRAM. Blanc, Suzanne; Pickron-Davis, Marcine; Mordecai-Phillips, Rhonda // Electronic Magazine of Multicultural Education;Spring2003, Vol. 5 Issue 1, p3 

    This paper is drawn from Research for Action's evaluation of the Urban Systemic Program in Philadelphia. The Urban Systemic Program is designed to enhance achievement in mathematics and science for all students. In this paper, the authors examine participants' beliefs about equity. Case-study...

  • Soziale Herkunft und Bildungserfolg in Frankreich. Brauns, Hildegard // Zeitschrift für Soziologie;jun1999, Vol. 28 Issue 3, p197 

    The central question of this study is to determine what role different characteristics of social origin play in educational achievement in France and to what extent educational inequality has changed in the course of the twentieth century. Within the context of the discussion of (in)equality in...

  • Affirmative action: The muddied middle ground. Pearlstein, Mitchell B. // Academic Questions;Summer91, Vol. 4 Issue 3, p78 

    Focuses on the issues related to the use of affirmative action in the educational system in the United States. Problems of universities in showing their commitment to equal education policy; Reasons for the deep roots of affirmative action; Position of past administrations to affirmative action...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics