In this article we review 40 years of cross-national comparative research on the intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic advantage, with particular attention to developments over the past 15 years—that is, since the transition between (what have become known as) the second and third generations of social stratification and mobility research. We identify the generations by a set of core studies and categorize them with respect to data collection, measurement, analytical models, research problems, main hypotheses, and substantive results. We go on to discuss a number of new topics and approaches that have gained prominence in the research agenda in the last decade. We conclude that the field has progressed considerably with respect to data collection and measurement; that shifts across generations with respect to data analytic and modelling strategies do not unambiguously represent advances; and that with respect to problem development and theory formulation the field has become excessively narrow.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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