chapter  12
9 Pages

Conclusions and discussion

The evidence from this book is clear: the reproduction of socioeconomic inequalities in Western societies is not nearly as strong as is so often assumed. The overall relationship between socioeconomic background and the range of educational, occupational and economic outcomes is best described as moderate, not strong. For educational outcomes, the direct effect of socioeconomic background, no matter what indicators are used or combined together, is even smaller after taking into account cognitive ability. For occupational and economic outcomes, the direct impact of socioeconomic background is even smaller, and smaller again after taking into account educational attainment and, to a lesser extent, cognitive ability.