Academic staff – University of Copenhagen

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Stine Møllegaard

Stine Møllegaard

Assistant professor

There is a growing interest in understanding the complex ways in which family background affects children’s outcomes. Traditional sociological stratification research focuses on how the parents' socioeconomic resources affect the life outcomes of the child, and most research shows that the intergenerational transmission of inequality in life outcomes can be ascribed to family background characteristics; however, this area of research has its limitations: 1) most research focuses on two generations: on the intergenerational transmission between parents and child, assuming that the intergenerational transmission runs sequentially from one generation to the next, and 2) most sociological research does not take the role of biological differences in generating social stratification into account.
Intergenerational transmission is not only a transmission of the parents’ socioeconomic resources but also a biological transmission of skills and attributes, in combination with the right biological and social conditions to develop these traits and attributes.
In addition to this, as a consequence of increasing life expectancy, more and more children spend more time with their grandparents. This raises the question whether transmission of resources only should be studied in a two-generational setup.
By combining rich Danish administrative data and comprehensive Danish surveys of multiple generations and twins and siblings, I study how biological differences at birth affect life outcomes, and how parents’ and grandparents’ socioeconomic resources affect educational inequality.
My research comprises several empirical quantitative studies on the role of nature and nurture in social stratification, in particular within the field of educational inequality.

Key words for my research interests: Biosociology; Nature & Nurture, Inequality in Educational Opportunities; Social mobility; Social Inheritance; Parents' and grandparents' influence on children's educational outcomes. Empirical research. Quantitative methods. 

ID: 43862676