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ECONOMIC CRISIS, SOCIAL TRAJECTORIES AND EDUCATION. PaD longitudinal analysis in Catalonia (2003-2009)

The period from 2003 to 2009 is historic and transcendental due to the profound changes that  came about during that time. It is an unusual period, combining an economic boom (with social upward mobility) with the outbreak of a prolonged and unprecedented economic recession with sustained downward mobility and social vulnerability).  The dramatic impact of this current economic crisis is obvious, given that it is the most sudden and profound economic crash of the past thirty years. Even in the worst years of recent economic crises or recessions, the record figure of 8.7% shrinkage in the total number of jobs in a single year, as occurred in 2009, was never reached.

We have studied social class and income mobility trajectories over a seven-year period  using  PaD data and a longitudinal sample of 1,294 individuals  aged between  19 and 58 in 2003,  who we followed until 2009.  The representative sample for 2009 uses the same respondents for whom we have 2003 data. 

The Fundació Jaume Bofill’s Panel on Social Inequality in Catalonia (PaD) is the only panel survey on social structure that exists in Southern Europe that allows longitudinal studies to be done on respondents’ social, family, employment or educational trajectories. This research is significant and unique  due to its longitudinal nature, which allows us to follow the trajectories of the same individuals surveyed by the PaD between 2003 and 2009. It thus fills a knowledge gap as it is the first longitudinal research conducted on social structure in Catalonia. 

• The main purpose of our research is to measure class and  income trajectory  mobility from 2003 to 2009 and to identify the risk and likelihood of upward and downward mobility and social vulnerability during this period. 
• A second purpose was to find out  the extent  to which  education has become stronger in this current economic crisis as a hierarchical determinant of security, power and status, confirming a new knowledge gap in society. In previous research, we had already discovered that the “education” factor was one of the main criteria in social division and segmentation.

In terms of  methodology, as well as using bivariate statistics and mobility matrices, we chose to use logit regression analysis and generate probability tables using the estimated models of upward mobility, immobility, downward mobility and social vulnerability  as experienced between 2003 and 2009. The research that we are publishing begins by putting the 2003 to 2012 period  into context, identifying job creation and destruction in an opening chapter entitled  “The social impact of the economic and financial crisis” that was produced using secondary sources.


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