© 2019 Elsevier Ltd This article examines the relationship between family background, education, skills use and direct measures of literacy skills in five countries: the United States, Japan, Germany, Denmark and Spain. The main aim is to contribute to the research on skills acquisition by providing a comprehensive analysis of literacy skills. We employ a structural equation modelling and use PIAAC data. Results show that skills are configured in a highly complex manner and that significant differences emerge across the five countries, reflecting their historical and institutional characteristics. Intergenerational transmission of educational inequality is a crucial factor in shaping skills outcomes, although this factor varies considerably between countries. The effects of family background, educational attainment, and skills use in daily life on literacy respond to country specific equilibria.
- Structural equation model