Außenansicht des D3 Gebäudes

MOBILITY-PATH: Multidimensional Intergenerational Mobility and Pathways to Upward Mobility

Research on intergenerational social mobility clarifies to what extent and how parental background shapes opportunities and attainments along the lifecycle. While several studies have documented the evolution of income inequality in Austria, comprehensive evidence on intergenerational social mobility in Austria and more particular its underlying drivers does not exist. The project MOBILITY-PATH will fill this gap and develops a novel data infrastructure for research on intergenerational mobility and is funded by the Vienna Science and Technology Fund (WWTF).

First, to understand intergenerational mobility across various dimensions and geographies we develop a novel data set for research on intergenerational mobility, based on various administrative registers and sources. Second, we will explore how early-life factors like neighborhoods and schooling, or vocational training and labor market conditions, as well as higher education expansion, impact upward mobility. MOBILITY-PATH can answer these questions by employing research designs tailored to Austria’s institutional landscape on a novel combination of eight individual-level register and administrative datasets available in the Austrian Micro Data Center (AMDC) and covering birth cohorts since 1960.

MOBILITY-PATH will provide pioneering evidence by investigating the extent of and heterogeneity in intergenerational mobility in education, occupation, earnings, and individual and family income. In addition to insights at the country level, our detailed data allows us to assess social mobility at various sub-national levels and for population subgroups defined by gender and migration background. The resulting dataset will be made available via an interactive webpage, the Social Mobility Atlas Austria. Second, MOBILITY-PATH investigates the causal effect of neighborhoods on intergenerational mobility, and studies to what extent these effects are driven by schools. In Austria, 40 percent of young adults enter the labor market after compulsory schooling via vocational training schemes. Part three of the MOBILITY-PATH project focuses on the impact of vocational training on social mobility. As the demand for vocational training occupations depends on economic conditions, MOBILITY-PATH proposes to investigate the causal link between trade-induced changes in the demand for different occupational skills and social mobility among those who completed vocational training. Finally, obtaining tertiary education in Austria is a main pathway to higher incomes. We investigate if attending and completing a degree by type of institution and field of study increases upward mobility in education and income, and if so, for whom.

For announcements on this project see here

The Team Members

Franziska Disslbacher

© Sonja Spitzer
Franziska Disslbacher

Principal Investigator & Coordinator
Personal Website

Franziska Disslbacher is an Assistant Professor at the Department Socioeconomics and the Research Institute Economics of Inequality at WU Vienna. She is the Principal Investigator and Coordinator of the project MOBILITY-PATH: Multidimensional Intergenerational Mobility and Pathways to Upward Mobility.

Franziska’s research is interested in the economic, social and political mechanisms that link inequality in opportunity to inequality in outcomes. She works on intergenerational mobility, and the distribution and taxation of income, wealth, and inheritances. Franziska uses novel administrative data and experimental methods to answer her research questions. Previously she was a postdoctoral researcher for the GC Wealth Project, and Visiting Researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. She is also a Visiting Research Fellow at the London School of Economics (International Inequalities Institute) and affiliated with the Stone Center on Socio-Economic Inequality at the Graduate Center of the City University New York.

Portrait von Moritz Hörl

© Moritz Hörl
Moritz Hörl

PhD Student

Moritz Hörl has joined WU Vienna in February 2024 as part of the MOBILITY-PATH project. In his dissertation, Moritz will examine the causal determinants of intergenerational mobility using microeconometric methods and large and comprehensive administrative data. Previously, Moritz studied Economics and Philosophy at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Alice Kügler Portrait

© Alice Kügler
Alice Kügler

Principal Investigator
Personal Website

Alice Kügler is an Assistant Professor at the Central European University and works on topics in Labor Economics, Public Economics, Inequality, and Innovation. Her research combines convincing research designs with large-scale administrative and novel historical data to gain insights into policy-relevant questions. Prior to that, she completed a PhD in Economics at the University of Oxford and worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Research & Analysis of Migration at University College London. She is a principal investigator for the MOBILITY PATH project.

Petra Sauer

© Sonja Spitzer
Petra Sauer

Principal Investigator

Petra Sauer is postdoctoral researcher in the division of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Research at the University of Fribourg, and senior researcher at the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU). She was (LIS)2ER Tony Atkinson Research Fellow at the Luxembourg Institute of Socio-economic Research (LISER) and the Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) where she has contributed to strengthening the integration of research on social stratification, education, and the labour market within the institutes’ research agendas. In her research, she focuses on social inequality, its dynamics across time and contexts, and its underlying mechanisms, with a particular emphasis on (higher) education and labour market outcomes. Her research has been published, among others, in the International Journal of Comparative Sociology and the Review of Income and Wealth.

Portrait Anna-Magdalena Schwarz

© Anna-Magdalena Schwarz
Anna Schwarz

PostDoctoral Researcher
Personal Website

Anna Schwarz is a PostDoctoral Researcher at the Central European University. She completed her PhD at the Vienna University of Economic & Business in 2023. Her research areas are Labor economics, Inequality, and Public Economics. She works with administrative data, but also large-scale international surveys and applies microeconometric methods, as well as experimental methods to answer her research questions. At INEQ, she is currently working on the project “MOBILITY-PATH: Multidimensional Intergenerational Mobility and Pathways to Upward Mobility,” funded by the Vienna Science and Technology Fund.

Philipp Wimmer Portrait

© Philipp Wimmer
Philipp Wimmer

Research Assistant

Philipp Wimmer will join the MOBILITY-PATH project team in May 2024 as a Research Assistant. Philipp helps data preparation, organization and website development. In autumn 2023 he started the master’s program Economics at WU Vienna. Prior to that, Philipp worked at the Austrian National Bank. He holds a BSc in Economics from WU Vienna.