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Graaf, P.M. de

Graaf, P.M. de

Paul de Graaf, born in Breda, the Netherlands, in 1957. Ph.D. from Utrecht University. Associate Professor of Empirical Sociology at the Radboud University Nijmegen.

Fellow (1 February 1997 – 30 June 1997)

During my stay at NIAS I studied three topics within the sociology of social stratification and mobility. The first topic is the complex relationship between structural change in the labour market and individual mobility. Inflow, outflow, and job mobility together construct structural change, but the relative contributions can vary between countries. A comparative research project, covering the United States, Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands, revealed a clear divide between on the one hand the individualist mobility regime in the United States, and the collectivist mobility regime in Germany and the Netherlands on the other. In the United States the individual response to structural change is immediate and strong, whereas in Germany and the Netherlands it is diffuse and weak. Sweden holds a position in the middle, which we explain by the citizenship rights in Sweden, which cause social security entitlements in Sweden to be not employment dependent.

The second topic I addressed during my stay at NIAS is the long term development of social mobility in Hungary, especially in the intergenerational transmission of social inequality. Together with colleagues from Hungary and the Netherlands I developed and estimated a model which enables us to analyse explicitly the relationship between Hungarian history and change in social mobility patterns. Our results showed that change in social mobility is slow but steady and hardly related to the dramatic events in Hungarian history.

The third topic I worked on during my half year at NIAS is the consequences of demographic change on social inequality. Educational expansion and increasing social mobility change social relations between people, e.g. between parents and their adult children, and between spouses. During my stay at NIAS I wrote papers on marital dissolution, on the contact frequency between parents and their adult children, and on the labour market careers of spouses.