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Exploring social mobility with latent trajectory groups

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Summary. 

We present a new methodological approach to the study of social mobility. We use a latent class growth analysis framework to identify five qualitatively distinct social class trajectory groups between 1980 and 2000 for male respondents to the 1970 British Cohort Study. We model the antecedents of trajectory group membership via multinomial logistic regression. Non-response, which is a considerable problem in long-term panels and cohort studies, is handled via direct maximum likelihood estimation, which is consistent and efficient when data are missing at random. Our results suggest a combination of meritocratic and ascriptive influences on the probability of membership in the different trajectory groups.
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Keywords: Latent class growth analysis; Latent curve models; Meritocracy; Social mobility

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Surrey, Guildford, UK

Publication date: 2008-01-01

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