In this seminar, Fabrizio Bernardi tests McLanahan’s thesis of “Diverging Destinies” and analyses how important changes in family structures over time have been for inequality of opportunity in the United States.
Fabrizio Bernardi uses data from the NLSY 1979 and 1997 to explain ethnic and socioeconomic background differences in cognitive skills, educational attainment, and labor income.
Simulations based on Oaxaca-Blinder compositions reveal a very limited to small influence of changes in family structures on inequality of opportunity. Even though the socioeconomic and ethnic stratification of family structures has increased over time, the decreasing prevalence of two-parent families has been more consequential for the outcomes of children from advantaged socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds.
Fabrizio Bernardi joined the European University Institute (EUI) in January 2010, while on leave from the UNED, Spain. He received his Ph.D. in sociology and social research from the University of Trento.
He has taught at the faculty of sociology of the University of Bielefeld, Germany, from 1998 to 2001 and at the UNED, Spain, from 2001 to 2010. Between 2007 and 2009 he was senior researcher on social stratification and inequality at the Juan March Institute, Madrid.
Since 2013 he is the elected Chair of the Board of the European Consortium for Social Research. He is also a founding member of the Comparative Life Course and Inequality Research Centre at the EUI. His most recent publications deal with educational inequalities, returns to education in a comparative EU perspective and the consequences of parental separation for children's educational outcomes.