SOC101Y1 Lecture Notes - Stelco, Statistical Hypothesis Testing, Status Attainment

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2 Feb 2013
JAN, 21st 2013
SOC207 Lecture 3
Human Capital Theory and Labour Market Segmentation
Human Capital Theory
Who gets the good jobs?
- Those with the most education, training and experience
- More productive, committed, competent worker
Supply-Side Perspective
- (economic view point(based on the premise of rational choice, cost and benefits,
what workers bring into the labour market)
- Rational Employers
- Rational Employees
View of Labour Market
- Competition in an open labour market
o Job rewards (pay/benefits) are determined through economic contributions
to the economy
- Job information transparency
o Assumes everyone is competition for jobs in one unified single market (job
openings are open to everyone)
Conceptual Critique of Human Capital Theory
- Critique of its assumptions
o Assumption of rationality
o Presumes individuals make free choices based on human capital, but there
are structural constraints
o Presumption of access to information (social networks is not part of human
- Critique of its emphasis
o Ignores the demand side, overlooks social relationship between groups
o Demand size: the characteristics of labour market, of jobs, the class structure,
gender and race structure
Overlooking the fact that certain employers have preference over
certain employees
Ignores non-other markets institutions, family, schools,
- Employer demand for certain workers in certain jobs
- The possibility of employer discrimination
- The structure of the labour market
- Social inequalities between workers of gender or race
- The role of non-labour market institutions
- The role of non-economic forms of capital
Class Differences in Human Capital
Social class- class differences in education
1. Different aspiration and expectations
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JAN, 21st 2013
a. Aspirations gap based on the social class we belong to
i. Ie, children from middle and upper class families, parents have higher
ii. Evaluate their own potentials and expectations higher than others
2. Economic advantages
a. Income lends to higher quality and access to education
b. Better and safer neighborhoods
c. Middle and upper class kids are more likely to completed high school and
pursue a higher level of education
3. Cultural capital
- the relationship between social class and education
o Children from disadvantage families have less cultural capital
Value, beliefs, behaviors of societal views
Occupational Mobility Research
How much intergenerational mobility do we observe independent of effects of changes in
occupational structure?
- Social mobility: how an individuals moves within a economic institution
o Concerned with intergenerational mobility: movement from one generation
to another
- Intergenerational mobility: lifetime movement of one individual
- Circulatory mobility
o Exchange mobility, people with merit move into higher positions
- Structural mobility
o Changes in movement due to structural changes in the economy
Support for HCT
- Education influences occupational status
- Education does influence the type of job you get
- A lot of evidence it is beyond human capital theory
Beyond HCT
- Parents’ occupational status is often transmitted to their children through class
Status Attainment Research
- To what degree does education, a person’s previous job, or social location
determines mobility over one’s career?
- To what extent is occupational status inherited?
o Interested in both inter- and intra-generational mobility
- Support for HCT
o Education influences occupational status
- Beyond HCT
o Very first job strongest predictor of next job
o First job linked to education
o Education linked to parent’s occupation
Critique of Occupational Mobility and Status Attainment Research
- View of Labour Market
o Economy as a single open labour market
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