Penge, (ud)dannelse, forbindelser eller brains?: En test af fire forældreressourcers betydning for unges uddannelsesvalg i Danmark


  • Mads Meier Jæger
  • Anders Holm



Mads Meier Jæger og Anders Holm: Money, education, connections or brains? Testing the meaning of four parent resources for youth choice of education in Denmark The aim of this article is to analyse the effect of four types of social resources on young people’s educational choice. Drawing on Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of “capital“, we distinguish four types of capital: economic, cultural, social, and cognitive, which are hypothesised to affect intergenerational educational mobility in different ways. Data comes from a longitudinal study of young people carried out by the Danish National Institute of Social Research, in which persons born in 1954 were interviewed about their own situation and about the educational choices of their oldest child. The empirical analysis is divided into two parts. In the first part, using multiple indicators and confirmatory factor analysis, we find that the four types of capital are clearly identified in the data, and that the four types of capital are significantly and positively correlated. The second part of the empirical analysis evaluates the effect of the four types of parental capital on young people’s educational choice, net of several control variables. For this analysis, we employ the multinomial logit model with a non-parametric estimator of random effects to capture individual heterogeneity. The analysis suggests that (especially) parental cultural capital is a strong predictor of selection to academically oriented tertiary education. Furthermore, we find that social capital is particularly important in selection of vocational education. Finally, parental economic capital and cognitive capital do not affect educational chances, but growing up with a single mother decreases the probability of obtaining university-level qualifications significantly.