Education as an equalizer for human development?

Ilze Plavgo and I have written a background paper for the 2019 UNDP Human Development Report. In our paper we examine the potential of education to act as the ‘great equalizer’ and reduce the negative effects of economic inequality on health and other social outcomes, such as crime, educational proficiency and, in particular, social mobility. In … Read more

Covid19 and social inequality (part 2)

Data on socio-economic status of patients and deaths with COVID-19 are not systematically collected and are still very rare. Evidence of a higher risk of dying from COVID-19 for individuals of low social classes is however slowly popping up. In a previous post I argued that there are strong reasons to expect that COVID-19 mortality rates are higher among individuals of … Read more

The Baader-Meinhof phenomenon and compensatory advantage

The Baader-Meinhof phenomenon (also kwon as the frequency bias) is the phenomenon where something you recently learned or paid attention to suddenly appears ‘everywhere’.  In my case patterns of compensatory advantage (CA) tend to crop up not ‘everywhere’ but still quite often, also while I am not directly working on CA The key insight of the notion … Read more

Pandemics and economic inequality

In his book on the global history of inequality Walter Scheidel argues that there are four forces that have effectively managed to decrease economic inequality over history. The four “horsemen of leveling” (as Scheidel label them) are mass-mobilization warfare, revolutions, state collapse and pandemics. It is the latter one that is sadly of renewed interest in the … Read more

Gendered diverging destinies

We (Diederik Boertien and I) have just uploaded a new working paper with a critical discussion of the diverging destinies thesis, additional analyses on the heterogeneity of the union dissolution penalty by socio-economic background in USA and, most importantly, a separate test of the diverging destinites thesis for boys and girls . According to … Read more

The persistent ritual of null hypothesis significance testing

In an article published in European Sociological Review, we (Chakhaia, Leopold and I) show that the ritual of Null Hypothesis Significance Testing (NHST) is still very common among European sociologists. * In a nutshell, this ritual consists of the following: A researcher estimates a coefficient that expresses the effect of a variable X on a variable … Read more