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Intergenerational Mobility in Education in Greece

Project Coordinator and Principal Researcher: Professor Nikolaos Vettas
Duration: September 2021 - August 2022


Education plays a central role in social mobility. The Greek education system is believed to have for decades functioned as a mechanism of, mainly upward, intergenerational social mobility. Greece exhibits a relatively high rate of intergenerational mobility in education compared to its European peers, defined as the percentage of individuals having achieved a higher level of education than their parents. Despite its relatively good performance, the transmission of social advantage or disadvantage and social inequality persist, as in most countries around the world. Reasons inter alia include the unequal prospects offered by the plethora of tertiary education options in Greece as well as the lengthening of mean academic trajectories. Furthermore, even though access to university studies is free-of-charge, the fact that it is exams-based implies that students with unequal performances may have unequal life prospects. 

This research project aims to shed light on:

(i) the role of socioeconomic status and other important factors on the cognitive performance and future plans of Greek high-school students, 

(ii) intertemporal trends taking into account the recent economic crisis and, 

(iii) possible differences with other EU/OECD countries on the effect of socioeconomic and other drivers on intergenerational educational mobility. 

Project Outputs

- The Policy Brief is available here.

- Read the Research Paper of the project, which was published as part of the GreeSE working paper series, GreeSE Paper No.185.


- The findings of the Research Project were presented at a Research Seminaron Tuesday 28 February 2023.
Find out more about the event here.
Listen to the event podcast here.

-  The main findings of the study translated in Greek were presented in Athens at the event 'Διαγενεακή Κινητικότητα στην Εκπαίδευση: Κοινωνικο-οικονομικoί παράγοντες, επιδόσεις και επαγγελματικά σχέδια των μαθητών στην Ελλάδα' on Wednesday 12 April 2023. Photos from the event can be found here.


The study got significant coverage in the Greek news. Some indicative links can be found below:

- 'Μελέτη του ΙΟΒΕ: Υψηλές φιλοδοξίες των 15χρονων για πανεπιστημιακές σπουδές – Μεγαλύτερες οι επιδιώξεις των κοριτσιών', ertnews, 13 April 2023

- 'ΙΟΒΕ: Το 70% των παιδιών της δεκαετίας του 1980 πέτυχαν υψηλότερο επίπεδο εκπαίδευσης από τους γονείς τους',, 20 April 2023

- 'Μελέτη ΙΟΒΕ: Υψηλές φιλοδοξίες μαθητών για Τριτοβάθμια Εκπαίδευση, χαμηλές για μισθούς...',, 13 April 2023

- 'Θέλουν να σπουδάσουν, αλλά δεν φιλοδοξούν να βρουν καλά αμειβόμενες δουλειές – Μελέτη ΙΟΒΕ για 15χρονους',, 12 April 2023

- 'Έρευνα: Οι καλές σχολές στην Ελλάδα είναι μόνο για τα ανώτερα κοινωνικά στρώματα – Τεράστια τα ποσά που ξοδεύουν οι γονείς σε ιδιαίτερα', Ethnos, 14 April 2023

Research Team

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Project Coordinator and Principal Researcher: Nikolaos Vettas, Professor of Economics at the Athens University of Economics and Business; General Director at the Foundation for Industrial and Economic Research (IOBE)

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Researcher: Svetoslav Danchev, PhD (Econ), Head of Microeconomic Analysis and Policy Unit, Foundation for Industrial and Economic Research (IOBE)

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Researcher: Georgios Gatopoulos, PhD (Econ), Head of International Macroeconomics and Finance Unit, Foundation for Industrial and Economic Research (IOBE); part-time Instructor at the American College of Greece

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Researcher: Niki Kalavrezou, PhD (Econ), Research Associate on Health Economics and Social Policy, Foundation of Industrial and Economic Research (IOBE)