Occupational Status, Education, and Social Mobility in the Meritocracy

Hauser, Robert, John Warren, Min-Hsiung Huang, and Wendy Y. Carter
Working paper no. 1996-18


Following a brief review of the concept of occupational status, we review trends in occupational standing, using data from the 1962 and 1973 Occupational Changes in a Generation Surveys (OCG), the 1986-88 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), and the 1972 to 1990 NORC General Social Surveys (GSS). Next, we examine trends and differentials in the effects of family origins, measured social background, and schooling on occupational standing. Finally, using data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) and the National Longitudinal Study of Youth (NLSY), we explore relationships among social background, measured mental ability, and occupational status in youth and adulthood.