Trends in intergenerational educational mobility in Israel: 1983–2008

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Focusing on the intergenerational educational association alone obscures discussions of downward and upward mobility and immobility patterns, which entail different life experiences and their potential consequences. Utilizing data on Israelis aged 25–32 years old over three periods, the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, during which tertiary education expanded dramatically, we examine if and how relative and absolute intergenerational educational mobility is shaped by educational expansion. Our results on relative mobility replicate findings about persistent inequality in educational opportunity. Persistent inequality, however, entails different mobility patterns for different sub-populations. For Jewish men and for Arabs, it mostly means educational reproduction patterns among non-graduates, while for Ashkenazi-Jews it means reproduction among the graduates. Likewise, whereas Mizrahi-Jews and Arabs have experienced mostly upward mobility, Ashkenazi-Jews have experienced an increase in downward mobility over time. Scholars and policy-makers should pay more attention to absolute mobility, as it can shape attitudes and behaviours.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)752-774
Number of pages23
JournalBritish Journal of Sociology of Education
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 18 Aug 2021


  • Absolute mobility
  • Israel
  • educational expansion
  • intergenerational educational mobility
  • relative mobility

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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