, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 65–86 | Cite as

Intergenerational transmission of educational attainment in Austria

  • Pirmin FesslerEmail author
  • Peter Mooslechner
  • Martin Schürz
Original Paper


Up to now, there exist several studies documenting the educational expansion in Austria in the 20th century but only few studies measureing the degree of persistence of educational attainment over generations. Furthermore, for Austria there are no internationally comparable persistence-measures of educational attainment available. This study aims to fill this gap and delivers key-measures for intergenerational persistence of educational attainment. The Austrian Household Survey on Housing Wealth includes information on socioeconomic characteristics of respondents and their parents. The results demonstrate strong persistence in educational attainment in Austria. Using uni- as well as multivariate econometric techniques and a Markovian approach we show that educational persistence decreased over time. Overall, Austria ranks third in terms of intergenerational educational attainment persistence among a number of european countries and the US. Our results therefore allow to question the significance of meritocratic values and equal opportunity for educational advancement in the Austrian society compared to other European countries and the USA.


Intergenerational transfers Educational attainment Educational transmission Austria 

JEL Classifications

J62 I38 



Valuable comments from Alyssa Schneebaum, Oliver Gorbach, Verena Halsmayer, Markus Knell, Peter Lindner, Ina Matt and Rita Schwarz are gratefully acknowledged.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pirmin Fessler
    • 1
    Email author
  • Peter Mooslechner
    • 2
  • Martin Schürz
    • 1
  1. 1.Economic Analysis DivisionOesterreichische NationalbankViennaAustria
  2. 2.Economic Analysis and Research DepartmentOesterreichische NationalbankViennaAustria

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