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Werfhorst, Herman van de

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Herman G. van de Werfhorst, born in Doornspijk, the Netherlands, in 1972. Ph.D. from Radboud University Nijmegen. Professor of Sociology, University of Amsterdam and Director of the Amsterdam Centre for Inequality Studies.

Fellow (1 September 2012 – 30 June 2013)

Between Institutions and Mechanisms: Education and Stratification in Comparative Perspective

Education is a highly relevant dimension in the analysis of social stratification and inequality. Both with regard to the unequal selection into education (by social class, or ethnicity) and to the association between education and labour market outcomes, two different literatures have emerged. First, studies have concentrated on social mechanisms that explain patterns of association, concerning e.g. family processes or employer-employee relationships. Second, patterns of association between social origin, education and labour market outcomes have been compared across countries. In this project I aim to bridge both literatures, and test hypotheses on how the mechanisms why education has a prominent role in stratification processes differ between institutional settings (countries). Institutional characteristics of educational systems and labour markets have an influence on how education is functioning. Also, I will concentrate on the possible policy trade-offs that may exist in designing educational systems between reducing inequality and preparing for the economy.

Selected Publications

Van de Werfhorst, Herman G. (2011). Skill and Education Effects on Earnings in 18 Countries: The Role of National Educational Institutions. Social Science Research, 40: 1078–1090.

Van de Werfhorst, H.G. & Mijs. J.J.B. (2010). Achievement inequality and the institutional structure of educational systems: A comparative perspective. Annual Review of Sociology, 36, 407-428.

Van Tubergen, Frank & Herman van de Werfhorst (2007). Postimmigration investments in education: A study of immigrants in the Netherlands. Demography, 44 (4), 883-898

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