Social Mobility and Economic Performance (SMEP)

Project Description

Increasing levels of income inequality, and the low, often nearly stagnant, rates of social mobility experienced by many economies today, attract the attention of researchers and policymakers alike. However, both the causes of low social mobility and its consequences for economic performance have not yet been conclusively determined. These questions shall be investigated in this SEEK project within an international research network of experts.

The project aims to add to the debate on improving social mobility as a way to foster economic performance in European and other advanced economies. In most countries, the political rhetoric is clearly in favour of achieving more social mobility and equality of opportunity, as is the case in Europe, the US, and other countries. The SEEK project intends to provide research-based evidence on the role of social mobility in improving economic performance, and to identify channels that can be utilized to increase social mobility. The project shall be informative for both politicians and scientists on returns to social mobility and its causes from an economic perspective.

Project duration: July 2019 – December 2020

Research Team

Internal members, ZEW – Leibniz-Centre for European Economic Research, Mannheim:

  • Dr. Guido Neidhöfer, ZEW Research Department “Labour Markets and Human Resources”
  • PD Dr. Friedhelm Pfeiffer, ZEW Research Department “Labour Markets and Human Resources”

External members:

  • Prof. Miles Corak, City University of New York (USA)
  • Prof. Jesus Crespo Cuaresma, WU Wien (Austria)
  • Prof. Shahe Emran, Columbia University (USA)
  • Prof. Leonardo Gasparini, University of La Plata (Argentina)
  • Prof. Daniel Schnitzlein, Leibniz University Hannover and DIW Berlin
  • Dr. Petra Sauer, Anglia Ruskin University Cambridge (United Kingdom)
  • Prof. Jan Stuhler, Universidad Carlos III Madrid (Spain)