Robert Erikson, born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1938. Ph.D. from Stockholm University. Professor of Sociology at Stockholm University.
Fellow (1 September 1996 – 31 January 1997)
Together with Walter Müller I worked at NIAS on the question of the relation between the expansion of educational systems and the occupational returns for individuals on different levels of education. Several hypotheses can be advanced regarding this question, perhaps the most influential one saying that the association between education and occupational position will increase as industrial societies develop into new forms (given various names depending upon the creator’s main factors of description), while arguments can also be raised for a null hypothesis of no change. However, the evidence that would make it possible to choose between these hypotheses is so far rather weak.
We have during our stay at NIAS collected material from Labour Force Surveys in a number of European countries, in order to make a more rigorous test of these hypotheses based on a description of the development of how the relation between education and occupational position has changed – or remained unchanged. The work of making the coding of, in particular, education and occupation comparable between years and countries has met with unanticipated, but perhaps not unexpected, difficulties. It has progressed during our stay at NIAS, but at a slower pace than we had hoped for. Anyway, we are in good hope to finish the study in 1997.