The Increase of Social Mobility in the Netherlands During the Nineteenth Century
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Previous research could not fully explain the increase of social mobility in the Netherlands during the nineteenth century. In this paper, I test five new processes that could have increased social mobility: a wider dissemination of universalistic values, a rise of the middle class, secularization, pillarization and an increase in average sibling size. To do this, I estimate the influence of the occupational status of the father on that of his son, a conventional measure for a lack of social mobility, for approximately 360.000 sons. By analyzing whether this influence is higher or lower for sons in communities with a wider dissemination of universalistic values, a larger share of the middle class, more secularization, more pillarization or a larger sibling size, I am able to test my hypotheses. I find that, next to the modernization processes, the increase in average sibling size and changes in social class composition in combination with educational expansion help to explain the increase in social mobility.