The Inheritance of Education

Richard V. Reeves and Joanna Venator:

Income is the currency of most mobility research – but money is not all that matters in life. There is a long list of other goods in life, including education, wellbeing, trust, agency, interesting work, and so on. Like most mobility researchers, we focus on income because it does matter in itself; because it can be converted to many of the other goods; and because it provides a robust basis for measurement and comparison.

Schooling and Social Mobility

But the transmission of education advantage is also of great interest. Even if someone does not convert a higher level of education into higher income, they are still better off. They can choose more interesting jobs, even if they are not highly-paid. They have more knowledge of the world and possibly of themselves. Education is a good in its own right, not just as a ticket to a fatter paycheck.