Does the Spanish university smoothed class differences in labour insertion?

Sandra Fachelli, Dani Torrents, José Navarro-Cendejas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


© 2015, Ministry Education and Science. All rights reserved. This article analyses the role of social background in employment for graduates of the classes of 1999 to 2002 in Spain. The specific focus is on hourly wages earned shortly after graduation. Other research has shown that social background exerts but little influence on employment for graduates in Catalonia, and here the inquiry is expanded to the nationwide level. Data from the 2005 Survey of Living Conditions is used to analyze the effect of social background taking into account personal and occupational factors through simple binary logistic regression using hourly wages as the dependent variable. To provide a comparison sample, the same analysis is performed for the rest of the population. For the general population the effect of social background is clear and relevant, but not so for university graduates. For them social background is not a factor of discrimination in the amount of income earned after leaving university; only sex and occupation introduce variability in terms of wages. It is concluded that, from the standpoint of employment, the university as an institution of social mobility smoothes out class differences within a short time of graduation. Similar analyses, controlled by type of degree and/or a longer time between graduation and employment, should be conducted in order to check these findings and add to the knowledge of the relationship between social background and employment in graduates, especially in the light of the huge transformations to which our society in general and the university in particular are being exposed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-144
JournalRevista de Educacion
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Job placement
  • Social background
  • Social mobility
  • University graduates
  • Wage


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