- Credential inflation and educational strategies: a comparison of the United States and the Netherlands
- Research in Social Stratification and Mobility
- Volume | Issue number
- 27 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This paper analyzes the trend in the effect of education on social class attainment, and uses this information to test hypotheses on the impact of credential inflation on educational decision making in the United States and the Netherlands. After having shown evidence for credential inflation of three educational transitions, it was shown that credential inflation between two generations increased the likelihood of making a transition into tertiary education in the Netherlands, and into high school completion and into 4-year university degrees in the United States. This supports the theory that education functions as a positional good, and if education loses value people need more of it in order to reach the same social class as their parents. Cross-national variation is explained with the theory that education in the United States functions more as a positional good than it does in the Netherlands.
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